Monday, June 17, 2013

Sometimes Discipleship Happens In A Taxi

Go therefore and make disciples...
-Matthew 28:19a

A few weeks ago I shared how I led a taxi driver to Christ after meeting with him and discussing the gospel and life for a few hours. Although I greatly rejoiced that my new friend followed Jesus after our time together, I also knew that my job was not finished. Let me explain briefly. At times we put too much focus on evangelism when we need to put more focus on discipleship. We are not called to make converts, but we are called to make disciples. Sure, you need a new believer in order to make a disciple, but really evangelism or pre-evangelism can be part of the disciple making process.

So, what does discipleship look like? That is the question that everyone wonders because we are continuously told to make disciples, but very few people tell us how to make disciples. I have been in church my whole life and this was one thing that I was unsure of for years in my own faith. I like to describe discipleship as simply showing someone how to do something. In life we are all making disciples or are disciples of someone. 

In my skateboarding days I was a disciple of the guys who had been skating longer than me. They took me under their wing and showed me the ropes of skateboarding. They taught me everything I needed to know about a good quality skateboard, the fundamentals of tricks, and the best spots to skate. It was a slow process starting, but eventually I got better.

Discipleship is really the same way. It is taking someone, often a new believer, and showing them what it means to be a follower of Jesus. In my role in S. Asia I typically start with getting them a solid and readable translation of the Bible. I will spend some time studying the Bible with them (typically focusing on assurance, baptism, and evangelism), teach them how to become a self-feeder of the Bible, and see them through the first step of obedience in baptism. 

What has that looked like with my taxi driver friend? Discipleship has been riding in a taxi. My friend does not have a lot of extra free time from driving a taxi or being with his family so I have started intentionally using his taxi to go places. During our hours together we discuss the Bible, next steps, etc. I have given him full permission to give me any question that he is struggling with, not promising to have the answer, but promising to help him find the answer. I would say that part of discipleship with my friend is most often not giving him the answer, but as much as possible pointing him to Scripture to help him find the answer.

So, sometimes discipleship happens in a taxi. Where has discipleship happened for you most recently?

No comments:

Post a Comment