Aug17WedAugust 17, 2016
I just finished building the first functional table for our new store location by repurposing several, old, wooden pallets. It’s been awhile since I’ve done any woodworking and my creative impulses are loving it! One of the obstacles to this hobby over the past few years has been my lack of tools. Well, there is another obstacle too. I don’t like spending money on “things.” I would much rather use our small pool of resources on people than purchase a material item (even if we really need it.) For example, I spent several years “getting by” with a failing 12 volt screwdriver. Finally, to my wife’s relief, I finally worked up the courage to spend our budgeted money on a functioning, strong screwdriver – a crucial tool for doing about any project. The world felt new! I could work around the house again without getting frustrated by another low-functioning tool.
As Christ-followers, we too have spiritual tools which are energized by the Holy Spirit. How we use them, and how we grow in them are primarily our responsibility. In your opinion, what are some of the essential tools that a Christian disciple-maker ought to have in their “toolbelt?” Such a question had never dawned on me until I attended the recent Anabaptist Renewal Conference. But during those sessions, the Lord brought something clear to mind.
Before, I propose a few answers to that question – consider this… Every Sunday, we are reminded to “go and make disciples.” Yet, according to national statics and personal observations, very few Christians ever intentionally obey the Great Commission.
But let’s make it personal. Who are you intentionally discipling?
Most people have no answer to that question. Why? I think it’s completely related to the analogy of my non-functioning screwdriver. I believe that many Christians do not possess working tools to lead in disciple-making. The desire might be there, especially if they hear the Great Commission every Sunday, but the functioning tools are not there.
So, back to the question at hand. What are some of the essential tools that Christian disciple-maker ought to have in their toolbelt?
Here are a few suggestions.
Tool #1: Genuinely love to worship Jesus.
Tool #2: Listen well and ask good questions.
Tool #3: Share the gospel (repentance from sin and Kingdom living) and pray with people.
Tool #4: Comprehend how the Bible is laid out as a book and as a narrative story.
(Notice how the previous sentence does not say “understand everything in the Bible.)
Tool #5: Offer authentic, joy-filled hospitality. You may think of other essential tools, but I believe that’s a good start.
If you feel unqualified in any of these categories, you are not alone. From my past two years of observation into life among FMC, these “tools” need a little upgrading. Therefore, we’ve talked about asking good spiritual questions with our study on The Gospel last summer, the workshop for building Muslim relationships this January and our most recent parenting workshop on gender confusion. I intend to continue to do my best to equip you in these areas, in order for you to be fully confident in Kingdom work of disciple-making that you ARE called to do.
My prayer for the next two years, is that the word of God will increase and the number of disciple-makers will multiply greatly (Acts 6:7). Are you ready to rediscover the joy of working for the Lord?