risky move

The Discipleship Experiment.

This year our student ministry leadership set a goal: be disciples discipling others to be disciples. We decided to do ministry biblically, thus the discipleship experiment took life. It was a risky move, but a bold biblical endeavor.

We had some speed bumps, U-turns, and engines overheat along the journey, but overall I am ecstatic to see our adult leaders become more actively involved in the spiritual growth of our students. Though many would admit, “I feel like I’ve failed.” I would say their input into the lives of the students was exceed by the spiritual output. In other words, high risk [discipleship] equals high reward [disciples].

What is biblical student ministry?

Student ministry biblically is a ministry of the church coming alongside families equipping them to become faithful followers of Christ. Student ministry is intensive discipleship geared towards students and their families. Intensive discipleship is both encouraging one another to follow Christ [evangelism] and equipping follower in Christ [followership].

Discipleship is difficult. It’s difficult because of the cost involved. The cost may involve time, studying the Word to help student see their lives mirrored in the Word, willingness to get messy as students fall into sin, and desire to pour your life into another by living in a way that models a disciple of Christ. Discipleship takes a willingness to be selfless for the sake of another to see and savor Jesus Christ.

Discipleship is all for Christ and all about Christlikeness.

It is easy to disciple for all the wrong reasons. Some disciple to feel needed, important, or appreciated. Others disciple to impress, lord-over, or act as mini-Messiah’s. This is not discipleship. We don’t disciple as matter of self-defense or self-promotion. You don’t pour your life into others to fill yourself up. How selfish. Discipleship is selfless because it is promoting Christlikness.

When you gaze at the cross and get a glimpse of the gospel you see that you are unworthy, but God in Christ is worthy. Discipleship must always be rooted and nourished by the living message of the gospel. Jesus died, He was buried and resurrected that you and I might have abundant life [Galatians 2:20; Philippians 1:20-21]. Without the gospel discipleship is dead.

This year I watch Brent pour his heart into middle school boys. Middle schools are not the easiest flock to shepherd. He would take them out to Taco Bell before FUEL or have them work on construction projects at the church. These middle schoolers know that Brent cares. Brent made a risky move–doesn’t feel like he did enough–but was willing to pour Christ into middle school boys. To Brent discipleship was more of a risk than being a stunt man. He was willing to get get messy and be spent of the sake of Christ.

Successful disciples are servants first [Matthew 20:25-28].

Christ became the servant of all. It is crazy to think that a King and Creator of the universe became a servant to His creation. Jesus gives us a genuine model for leadership and discipleship: humility [Matthew 11:29; Luke 14:7-11; Philippians 2:3-4], trust [Mark 10:32-41], shepherding [Mark 10:45; John 10:11], gift oriented teamwork [1 Corinthians 12; Romans 12; Luke 9:1-2], responsibility [John 13:15; Ephesians 4:11-13]; and risk [Hebrews 11:1].

Discipleship is a risky move, but it has great rewards.

taco bell theology

Earlier today I was craving a chili cheese burrito. So I decided to head over to Taco Bell for lunch. Why does TB always sound so good, but you hate yourself for days afterwards?

It got me thinking. Taco Bell is a lot like sin. Okay, weird, I know. Just trust me on this.

Sin is fun. In the moment, sin sounds like a good idea. Just like my idea of Taco Bell: I could not resist the hankering for an ooey-gooey chili cheesy burrito (by the way, is that real meat in there?). It tasted so good going down. Mmm, yummy. However, it wasnt but a few minutes later that I already started feeling yucky and questioning why I had made such an idiotic decision. So it is with sin. The after taste of sin is disgusting, unsatisfying and leaving you with an empty gut of guilt. You see, sin is worse than silly Taco Bell. The Bible says, sin separates us from God and that sin is a slap in His face to the satisfying joy He desires us to have (Rom.3:23; 6:23).

I might be thinking outside the bun on this, but God is so more satisfying than Taco Bell. There is no comparison. Psalm 34:8 says, “O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man who trusts in Him.” When we do not satisfy our hungers with God it is like eating 10 bean burritos at one sitting and expecting to run a marathon immediately afterwards. It ain’t happening.

I am incredibly thankful that God forgives us of our sin, cleans us from all unrighteousness and is more satisfying to the soul than anything on this planet. I am also thankful for the guy at the bank who gave me a breath mint!?