– Monday Muse –
Dear One, years ago, I was at a gathering with about fifteen others. We were receiving follow-up training in Christian Discipleship (helping believers grow in their relationship with God). The instructor from downstate was one of the early, inspiring leaders of the program.
In the classroom, the trainee’s backs were to a wall of windows which overlooked a large parking lot. Sometime into the training, we heard the rumbling of skateboard wheels and sporadic, hard thumps against the pavement. Three teenage boys were trying to outdo each other and they were having a really good time. Suddenly, our speaker disgusted with the noise, walked to the back of the room, and told the boys to leave.
WHAT!? WHAT!? I could not believe it! We were there to learn how to better share the love of God, and had just chased three boys away! Hungry boys, for all teenage boys are hungry. And there we were, sitting next to a long table filled with more sandwiches, chips, and sweets than we could eat.
Before the class began, I had noticed a change in our instructor. It concerned me. I suspected that he had lost his heart for discipleship, or that he was discouraged, that perhaps his teaching had become a burden, that his fiery passion had died, and nothing was left but tedious responsibility. I believed that same man, years earlier, would have made a Jesus-like example out of the situation…a never to be forgotten lesson…on how to share the love of God…leaving a God honoring, lasting impression. I could easily picture it.
He might have called out to the trio, “Hey boys, you’re pretty good with those skateboards. Ya hungry? We’ve got some good grub in here. Come on in. Help yourselves.” While they eagerly filled their plates, he might have added, “We are here learning about how to help people know God. Do you know Him?” From there only God knows what might have happened, but for sure, it would have left a God honoring impression. Before they took their plates outside, he may have asked for permission to say grace for them. And in parting added, “Now, boys would you please take your skateboards to the parking lot behind the sanctuary? They are a little bit noisy. And if you get hungry later, come back and help yourselves to what we have left. Oh, and take some bottled water with you.”
Imagine the different impression those boys, now men in their forties, might have about our church, and more importantly about God, and God’s people. When we Christians have the opportunity to share Christ’s love, in any way, if at all possible, we should drop everything, and just do it. That’s discipleship. It is much more than a program. It is a way of life, day-in, day-out. And when it is a way of life…God honoring opportunities make lasting impressions…day-in, day-out.
“Then Jesus said to them, “Come after Me, and I will
make you become fishers of men.” Mark 1:17
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