I was meeting with discipling friends last night in my home and at the local coffee shop earlier today and now I’m reflecting on the past couple of years. God has been so faithful to connect me with these friends and to see them growing in their journey with Jesus.
As a pastor there can often be a lot of pressure to reach large numbers of people with the gospel message. We often place a lot of this burden on ourselves due to our drive to be good at what we do. Sometimes our peers bring this pressure on us, or our congregations bring the pressure, etc. At the end of the day, though, we really have to ask ourselves “did I make any disciples today?”
I’m nearing the completion of my time at Harvest Church and getting ready to move on to help establish Mercy Road Church in Appleton, WI. This a big time of transition for our family but we are certain that God has ordained this move and we’re excited to be a part of this new church plant in the Fox Valley.
I have naturally been considering the ways that God has used me in ministry for the past seven years at Harvest. I think my biggest “win” has been the fact that I have had a change of heart regarding discipling. But understand, it’s not about me. This “win” is about the people around me. You see, a few years ago I decided to start over and become a disciple again before I embarked on the intentional lifestyle of discipling others. When I made this commitment to study the person of Jesus, and surround myself with people who wanted to teach me in the ways of Jesus, things became very clear and more simple than I was previously making it.
My friends at Cadre Ministries describe the discipling process as D1, D2, and D3. D1 is learning to be a disciple, D2 is involving yourself with others and teaching them about D1, and D3 is when others start multiplying the process. The growth is exponential and exciting to see. However, it does not happen overnight.
I’m pleased that I’m moving on knowing that D3 (3rd generation) multiplication of disciple-makers is happening in the Beaver Dam area through my friends at Harvest. I’m excited for them, content and grateful that the Holy Spirit is working through that local church, and also very satisfied knowing that Jesus’ way actually works!
I’ve learned the following and continue to remind others of these three characteristics of being a disciple-maker:
- Look for OPPORTUNITY
- Be INTENTIONAL
- Be AVAILABLE
And remember — Jesus chose 12 guys and taught them to change the world through the empowerment and help of the Holy Spirit. I can’t wait to find my next group of 12 to disciple – it’s gonna be a fun ride Mercy Road…hang on!