A lot has been written recently about the discipleship movement, I think it could be because with all of our mega-everything, we have realized that we have done a poor job at making true disciples, which most of the time comes in the hidden and small. We are pretty good at making consumers, (vis a vis Madmen), but we seem to miss it when it comes to giving our life away for the benefit of another.
My wife and I had the privilege of hosting my friend Gary Black’s 50th birthday party in our home this weekend, and as in any gathering with Gary and his family, there is always great topics being discussed in just about corner of the house. Gary’s wife, Lisa and I have had great conversations about life, kids, healing, great midwestern homes…(we both like brick houses with big porches) and the best wines on the planet. This night, our conversation led to true discipleship. In an almost instant, she said, “We need to realize that this thing Jesus called us to do is DiscipleSHIP, not DiscipleCANOE, or DiscipleDINGHY, or DiscipleRAFT! This thing is strong, and slow, and takes a lifetime to build!”
We had a good laugh about the tongue in cheek statement, and then I realized the truth in what she was saying. Of course, she was honoring her husband for the years of time and pain and patience that he has invested in generations over the years. My heart heard her words, and they echoed in the truth that I was trying to say. Discipleship isn’t a thing…it is The Thing…it is The SHIP that we all need to be building.
My mind wandered to the great “ship” movies I have seen over the years, from “The Perfect Storm” to “Poseidon” and of course the most infamous, “Titanic”. I thought about shows like “Deadliest Catch” and “Wicked Tuna” and how these vessels are able to withstand incredible storms. I thought this is how true discipleship is.
When we take our time, invest our lives in each other, we are able to build amazing “ships” that can withstand the most dangerous and treacherous seas. I also realized that it wasn’t always the biggest ships that withstand these storms. It is the design of the ship, and the wisdom of the captain to keep her off the shoals. Do you see how this all ties into DiscipleSHIP? We need family. We need kitchen table conversations. We need community, you know, the real kind, where you can really be real…(that was really redundant!)
This “Sea” called life has recently began to blow up a pretty good storm. I see a lot of blogs and articles and posts of people living in fear. And out of fear they do and say some pretty stupid things, especially believers. I think it is because our lives look more like inner-tubes floating down a Tennessee creek than a Ship that can withstand the torrential storms of life.
Ask yourself, “Have I really reproduced disciples the way that Jesus did?” I can tell you that you will have to slow down, and throw out all your “How to make a disciple in 9 months” books. Discipleship is a lifelong calling. It requires your life. But I can promise you there is nothing more fulfilling than spending your life building the DiscipleSHIP!