Has anyone seen my last nerve?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

As a pastor who is knee-deep in the disciple making process, I can guarantee that you will at times find yourself frustrated. Making disciples is an intimate process, a challenging process and in the end, a very fulfilling and rewarding process.

Making disciples is completely different from that of evangelism or even focusing on church growth.

The art of making disciples calls for pouring of yourself, teaching and imparting, and empowering those the Father has sent to you.

Jesus had 12 of them. He ate with them, traveled with them, worked ministry with them, taught them and encouraged them.

Twelve men hand-picked by the Father, who would then eventually turn the world upside down for the cause of Christ.

But the road getting them there was bumpy and at times frustrating.

Jesus even had His moments.

There are several occasions throughout the gospels where Jesus asked them, "Are you so dull?" Translated, you're still not getting this? You still don't understand? Jesus even asked them, "How long do you think I'm going to be with you?" (see Mark 9:19)

Then, a few were concerned about positions of power and prestige (see Mark 10:35-41). This is highly frustrating to a leader! Here you are trying to impart wisdom and they are worried about who gets to be seen.

Even on the cusp of Jesus betrayal and death He asked them, could you not watch and pray one hour with me (see Mark 14:37-38)?

So even Jesus experienced moments of frustration with those He was teaching.

And I can assure you, you will have yours too.

I remember asking my husband once, "Is this thing on?" I was tapping my pretend microphone to dramatically inquire, "Is anybody really getting this?"

Jesus taught and poured for three years.

Three years.

So that should clue you in that the process is lengthy, but worthwhile.

At the end of those three years, the apostles went on to do marvelous things for the Kingdom. You and I are Christians today because of their work; because of the foundation they laid. Not too bad for a group Jesus once considered slow in understanding.

The key thing to remember is that the disciples eventually got it. It all came together and made sense and then they were able to run.

So those of you deep in the disciple-making process take heart. You're in good company; Jesus got frustrated. But in the end you discover, all the time and labor pays off and you have people who are strong in their faith, committed to the things of God and will in turn repeat the process themselves.

Be encouraged beloved.

Keep making disciples.

Pastor Lisa


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