Tag: intentionality

14Mar

Why I Take my 7-year-old Daughter with me on Hospital Visits

Some people may find it odd to hear that I take my little girl Lillie on hospital visits with me occasionally. After hearing why however, I think you’ll agree – its not a bad idea. Here are three reasons why I take her with me…

  1. She wants to come. Of course a small part of it is that she just wants to be with daddy, but consistently she passionately expresses concern for the people in the hospital. She wants to visit them and pray for them. Why would I squelch that kind of compassion?
  2. Ministry and family are not enemies. I’ve heard many stories about how pastors have sacrificed their families on the altar of ministry. Unfortunately, as pastors today hear those stories, they let the pendulum swing the other way and end up making ministry and family enemies of one another – in efforts to protect their families. But ministry and family are NOT enemies. In fact, I think they go together like peanut butter and jelly. Ministry happens best when done together in teams. Families are healthiest when they focus on serving others. Think about it. When do pb&j sandwiches go wrong? When there is way too much peanut butter or way too little jelly. When do pb&j sandwiches go well? When you have just the right amount of peanut butter and just the right amount of jelly and they are pressed close together. I think the same is true for ministry and family. As long as I’m giving appropriate focused time to each, I want to get ministry and family as close together as possible. I don’t want them to be competing rivals, but rather close friends. When someone is in the hospital, I don’t have to choose either ministry or family. It can be both – and. I want my kids to get a front row seat of kingdom activity. I want our church to blessed by my family.
  3.  Discipleship is more caught than taught. My sweet little girl learns more than I realize as she ministers by my side. She absorbs kingdom values as she hears me pray and minister to our people. As she listens, she is being trained on to minister to those who are hurting. As she watches, she learns how to express love in a variety of ways. As she participates, she is emboldened as a fellow minister of Jesus. Some day my Lillie may minister in a refugee camp or an orphanage or maybe she’ll grow up to be a nurse. Only God knows. But today, she is certainly in training on what it means to be a disciple of Jesus.

What best practices have you seen or experience in bringing ministry and family together? Have you let the pendulum swing into an unhealthy area?

 

 

2Feb

Disciples Making Disciples – Part 2

Life today, is not simple. For many people, life actually feels increasingly complex. We live in a day where we have many choices as to how we spend our time with all kinds of people and activities vying for our time and energy. The sheer volume of entertainment and recreation activities out there leaves most people in a state of anxiety – that they are missing out on something – all the time.

In reality, almost everything is noise.

If we are not careful, we’ll allow all the noise to keep us from engaging in the most important things. What are the most important things? Or to ask it a little more narrowly, what is THE most important thing? What is the most important thing we can give our time and energy to today? Tomorrow? Every day?

Are you ready for it? Are you ready to be blown away? Are you ready to be amazed? Here it is…

As a disciple, make disciples. Said another way, walking with God, help others walk with God. Or even another way, Living for Jesus, help others live for Jesus. Love God, help others love God. It doesn’t really matter how you say it. What really matters is, do we do it? Do we walk with God and help others walk with God? The average Christian can quickly take an inventory of their “christian activity” and relieve their conscience that they are walking with God and helping others walk with God. They attend church. They teach a Sunday school class. Unfortunately, so much of our “christian activity” is void of deep authentic relationship. We’re friends with people, but not family. We have a social connection, but we don’t feel like fellow soldiers. We simply keep things surface and check off our “christian activity” boxes.

Could it be that God longs for each of us to experience something more?

Imagine sitting down over coffee with someone once a week for a couple of months. Getting to know them, helping them identify where they, where God wants them to go, and what next steps to take. Rocket science? Not really. Need to be a bible scholar to begin? Nope. What is required to take your first step in making disciples? Walk with Jesus. Then what? Initiate a relationship with someone and FOLLOW THROUGH! What is required? Intentionality.

There are many, many equipping resources and guides out there to help shepherd discipling relationships. What there isn’t an abundance of is people willing to obey Jesus’ commission to “make disciples.” The secret sauce is intentional relationships and it has simply be left off the bun. As a result, most people’s christian experience is bland and boring.

Though our “christian activity” alone isn’t getting it done, neither is it the enemy to discipleship. Done well, a lot of “christian activity” can be an important and supplemental part of discipleship. The enemy to disciples making disciples is the absence of intentional, authentic relationships.

Chances are, the people that God wants you to disciple are right under your nose.

Lord Jesus, please forgive me for allowing all the noise to distract me from what matters most. Thank you for giving me another chance at living your mission. Show me who to disciple and give me the courage to take a next step. Help me not to obsess over the product or destination and help me to enjoy the process and the journey. Let’s do this, Lord Jesus for the glory of our Father!

(if you need a little more guidance to get started, email me – freddyt(at)fsbcs(dot)org.)

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