Holiday Disciple Making
We call it ‘The great commission’, and it is found in Matthew 28:18-20. The great command for all believers to help those who are not yet following Jesus to see the love God has for them and respond in faith, as well as helping develop a mature faith in fellow believers. Although most of us would agree with the need to obey this command from Jesus, the reality is that many of us have no idea where to start.
Many of us are taking some time off from work and enjoying the wonderful weather with family and friends. Kids are playing in the streets with friends, their parents are hanging around outside keeping an eye out. Energy levels generally are higher as people å are energised by the heat of the sun.
Whilst we have this extra energy, time and capacity in our lives, it is a fantastic time to reconsider what being a ‘disciple maker’ means to you. Now relax! You might be thinking, “This is supposed to be my holiday time! Don’t ask me to do more stuff!” This is the ideal time to use the natural rhythms of holiday life to develope some great new habits and ways of using your everyday life more effectively to make disciples of Jesus, bless some people, make friends and have fun doing it all.
Let’s consider a few natural ways to use this summer time to become a more effective disciple maker.
- Enjoy the story of God.
We are so grateful that the Holy Spirit is always with us to help when we don’t know what to say or do. However we are generally only able to share with people the things we experientially know and love about God. With the summer down time, there is no better time to get into or strengthen good Bible reading habits. The deeper the Great Story of God affects us, the more easily and naturally we will be able to spot opportunities and then lovingly share the things God has done and is doing in your life.
- Enjoy listening to God.
The next and very natural disciple-making rhythm is to cultivate a joy in listening to God. As mentioned before, the Holy Spirit loves making the Father and Jesus known to us. Although we do come to God in prayer to ask for things as we talk to him, there is a much greater privilege available to us, which is to hear from God as we listen to him. As a disciple-making rhythm, this is huge. As we spend time with God alone, our faith grows in knowing that he is with us to glorify himself when we are with others also.
- Enjoy celebrating.
Whoa! As those who are destined to live forever we have every excuse to be joyful. As those who know the God of the universe forgives and loves us unconditionally, we can be the biggest party animals in the city. People should have reason to say about us, “I don’t necessarily believe everything they believe, but man…they are fun!”. Maximise the rhythms of celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, graduations…just celebrate. As disciple-makers, our fun and free lives in Christ, can be great excuses for those around us to want to hang out and celebrate with us. Lives that celebrate, are lives that appreciate. We particularly celebrate God’s work in our lives, and invite those who are not yet Christians along for the ride.
- Enjoy eating.
Whooohooo! I so love food! On average we have about 21 meals in a week. Those are 21 discipleship opportunities in a week to hang out, share and make disciples as you eat. Kids and our immediate family are obviously our first line of discipleship, but neighbours, friends and church friends can all be on the invite list. Experiment with the habit of ‘not fancy, jut deliberate’ hanging out over meal times with the people that God is putting in your world.
You will be amazed how effective this normal everyday routine of eating can be in helping you grow more like and helping others grow more like Jesus.
- Enjoy blessing someone
When sitting on the front porch of the house enjoying the afternoon sunshine with a refreshing beverage in your hand, helping the neighbour with his groceries can be the last thing on your mind. It is however just these little things that show people how much the love of God towards us in Jesus has impacted our lives. We might think that it is doing big things that make the biggest impact, and big things can scare us. In fact, doing the small things regularly can be as big a blessing and demonstrate the faithful love of God towards people.
Committing yourself to finding at least 1 person to bless everyday can be a great exercise and firmly cement some new friendships that can make holiday disciple making a lot of fun.
- Enjoy resting well
Resting happily in the finished work of Jesus on the cross and then orientating our life around that certainty, is the essence of the Sabbath rest. Someone who has a good grasp of the gospel can work hard, play hard and rest hard! A healthy rhythm of rest is a key element in being an effecting holiday disciple maker, because through our lives we are demonstrating a satisfaction in Jesus that is not earned through hard work but through grace. Rest declares that we trust God to work in the people that we are lovingly discipling, afterall, they are not ‘gospel projects’, they are Gods precious people and he has a far great affection for them than we ever could have.
Have a great holiday!