Even if we stop, God keeps going. We see this in 1 Kings 19 when Elijah thinks he is the “only one left” (19:14) and God lets him in on a secret, ”
Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him.” (19:18).
God is working even when we are not. God stays focused even when we aren’t. God keeps first things first when we put fourth things first. God provides what we never produced.
Paul said in Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
In Matthew 3:10 Jesus said God could raise up children of Abraham from the rocks of the ground (Palestine is littered with rocks!), “And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.”
God is doing more than we know and is raising up people His way whether we are on board or not. But we need to be on board!
All of this is an act of grace and it is astonishing to witness first hand. When we started into this discipleship conversation I had no idea how much was going on in Churches of Christ in regard to discipling and equipping churches into new approach and paradigms. The more I bring it up the more I hear about what others are doing inside our fellowship and I am thrilled to hear it!
I have heard about Renew and the efforts of North Boulevard in Murfreesboro. I have heard about the work Lipscomb is doing to equip local church leaders for ministry. I have been pointed to websites and podcasts that have been encouraging. Mission Alive is also doing some great work with missional communities. There are so many that could be listed. This is just a start. I will point you to more of these over time.
After the last post I want to come back and say that while some things look quite difficult for us (tough corners to turn), it isn’t difficult for God. In fact, God has already turned those corners for two reasons: 1) God operates outside of time and 2) God has already been at work in ways I wasn’t aware of.
Even if we listed every effort we could find we would still miss 90% of what God is doing because most of what God is doing to disciple people is done in private and isn’t done in an orchestrated, public way.
One of the most refreshing things I heard was in a phone conversation with an elder in another state who told me that he knew discipling would take place in his church. He said he was sure because he was there and he was going to do it even if no one else wanted to. Wow!
What if we all looked at it that way? We wouldn’t start something new. We would join in with what God has been working on for a very long time.
This is the generation that is going to participate in God more visibly turning the ship on discipleship into a better day of spiritually minded leaders, reliance on the Holy Spirit, empowerment of all people to use their gifts and growth. This is where I see all of this pointing and I believe I will see it in my lifetime but even if I don’t in our broader fellowship I promise I will see it in my immediate context because I am determined to do it myself and have already started. I hope you have too or will soon!
Here are two other ways to get more informed:
Our public Facebook page where we post resources on discipleship from this site as well as from others, videos, etc. – https://www.facebook.com/mattdabbsdiscipleship
Our private Facebook group that is for those who are actively discipling people. This group is there to provide encouragement, ask and answer questions, etc. If you want to join that group please email me or facebook message me – firstname.lastname@example.org