Last week I wrote a series of posts on The One Thing We Can't NOT Do. Not only am I fully convicted and convinced that our main goal and top priority as the Church is "making disciples", I am further convinced that if we are not reproducing leaders - raising up Christ-followers who raise up Christ-followers - then we have no right to call ourselves a church. [This is NOT like a captain on the high seas, robbing and pillaging, that we refuse to call a pirate because he doesn't have an eyepatch. This is like a guy in a rowboat in the Atlantic Ocean trying to rob people with a butter knife calling himself a pirate. No dice.] A New Testament church NOT making disciples is NOT a church!
I read an article last week from Hugh Halter that resonated with me along these same lines. During a conversation with his wife, Halter was realizing and confessing the frustrations he has at spending countless amounts of time fielding emails and meeting with adults who want to "grab some coffee, get some chat time, and get a little help getting connected." These frustrations were brought to light the night before when his home was filled with teenagers, most of whom were in desperate need of attention, mentoring, and love - they needed to be discipled - and were unknowingly soaking it in like sponges. Halter, in an almost audible burst of frustration, wrote, "At some point, someone has to burst through the minutia of nebulous get-togethers and scream....'Who's really going to give some time to people that need it?!!!! When will we as adult Christians stop prioritizing finding more Christians friends to have a small group with, or another bible study? When will we actually take a few disadvantaged or disillusioned people under our wings and give flight to God's heart for their lives?" (I encourage you to read all of Halter's post HERE.)
There are about a million different directions this conversation could go, but here's where my thoughts and attention keep turning: If you (and I) have to choose who's going to get your time and attention, give it to the person who NEEDS it. And if you're currently a "member" of a church, and you're trying to figure out how to connect, where to "plug in", wanting to find the most suitable way for your church to "meet your spiritual needs", (and you've been on this perpetual search for quite some time now) I encourage you to cast off self-centeredness, stop looking inward, and go serve in the children's or youth area. Go give your time, heart, and life to seeing someone's life changed! If you're uncomfortable trying to find a "group" to fit into somewhere, guess what? There's a teenager living in that same world right now! Go love on them, disciple them, walk with them. With most teenagers, they're not looking for you to dress like them or be "cool enough" - in fact, they pretty much see right through that. They just want you to be you. And if you're walking with Jesus, there are countless children and students, not just out in the world somewhere, but IN YOUR CHURCH that need to be discipled!
We're about to walk through a season of change and transition here at The Brook with our youth. Over the next weeks, I'm going to be encouraging, challenging, and calling people out to step up to serve and lead our students. At our church, we do not exist to be a spiritual growth buffet. We exist to "Equip God's People..." - to make disciples. I'm praying this calling, attitude, mindset, and heartbeat prevail in the lives of our people. I believe it starts with me. (But to let you in on a secret, it also starts with YOU.)
Are you a believer? Do you have faith, time, and integrity? Do you have a story to tell, of how Jesus changed your life? Do you want someone else to have a life-changing story to share? If you answered YES to those questions, it's time to get in the game disciple-maker!