Tuesday, September 11, 2012

FLUID DISCIPLE-MAKING

WELL, WE'RE OFF on a new sermon series for the fall. We're taking a walk through Matthew's Gospel, with an end toward hearing Jesus a fresh for the first-time or for the umpteenth-time. Our prayer is that we will see Him and hear Him and to the point that we can touch Him, bit more importantly, to be touched by Him so that we can continue in the great work to which he has called us. The work of making disciples of all nations! (Matthew 28:19-20)

With our new journey in mind, here's the Shepherd's Staff article I wrote for this past kick-off Sunday (sorry, couldn't miss the shameless plug for football season.)


OVER THE PAST FEW WEEKS I have had the opportunity to be discipled in two water sports that were brand new to me. One opportunity was provided to me as a gracious gift of Noel and Jennifer (Jennifer is our office manager). The gift, at least I thought it was a gift, was for Noel to take me surfing off of Cowell’s beach. In the number of hours we were there in that somewhat chilly water, Noel patiently explained and demonstrated and helped me to catch a wave. He even gave up his own surfboard and took the “beginners” board for himself. Though I never got up and surfed the encouragement from Noel never stopped, and truth be known, I had a blast even though I never really surfed. Noel’s patient, gracious and helpful manner gave me hope that someday I may, “catch a wave and be sitting on top of the world.”
     A couple of weeks later I had another opportunity to try a new water sport, wake-boarding. My brother-in-law, Scott, gave me all the on-board pointers he could and then it was into the water for me. I’ll save you the suspense…I never got up on that board either, but it wasn’t for want of trying. Each time I crashed on take-off, Scott would race the boat back around give me some more ideas, get the rope back in my hands, and we would try again. We kept trying until I didn’t have the strength to go any farther, but during all those failed attempts never once did I hear frustration or ridicule in Scott’s voice. Rather, there was always another idea that might help me get up behind his boat. Well, there’s always next year.
     I tell you these two stories because we are starting a new series of sermons today from the Gospel of Matthew, a series that is focusing upon two big pictures. The first picture is to see Jesus, to listen to Him, to learn from Him. The second is discovering what it means to respond to Jesus’ command to “go and make disciples”  Both Noel and Scott illustrated part of what that means; to impart to others that which has been imparted to us so that we can be well-equipped and even enjoy the journey of following Jesus Christ, and to do so with great patience, great grace, and a deep desire to see another succeed. That is what good disciple-makers do.

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