This is my Disciplemaking Challenge. When starting this website I had a handful of good reasons to not start. Before we get to those let me start from the beginning.
Almost one year ago my wife Sarah was eight months pregnant with our first child. We were stuck in a glorified Thai tree house playing the waiting game for Lily to come. We live overseas and Thailand had the best and closest healthcare. We didn’t have much to do because we had to fly a month early and we were far away from our home. It was the first time in a while I had an open space to dream and think outside of the pressing needs of the day-to-day.
Two things were on my mind.
The family of God needs discipleship. To me it’s obvious, maybe because that’s what I am called to, or maybe because it’s true. Perhaps both? When I see the faith journey of most Christians (myself included) we lack spiritual fathers and mothers. Have you ever seen the movie Lord of the Flies? It’s about an island where a group of kids get stranded. No parents, no one to pave the way before them. It’s chaos because they had to find their own way. It’s a movie but it could be quite an accurate picture of the world if everyone grew up as orphans.
Spiritually isn’t this what has happened? When we come to faith we are born again into a new family. We have a new life as Jesus described it in John 3. Paul says we are a new creation and we must put away the old man we used to be. Peter explains we are babies in the faith who crave spiritual milk, and we need to grow up. What do you call babies who grow up without someone feeding them, leading them, parenting them? Paul tells the Corinthian church they do not have many spiritual fathers. I would call them orphans! When churches these days have new believers how many times is there just even one person committed to showing them the way of Christ? I haven’t seen it very often at all. I am not talking about a discipleship program, or a membership class. I am talking about fathering and mothering new believers for years. It takes sacrifice, commitment on both sides; it’s life on life, and it means time spent loving God and people together. This is what it take to make disciples. We need it desperately.
The second thing on my mind has been media. I am not talking about news shows, Hollywood or social networks. I am thinking about the means to connect with people. The world has changed, and getting in people’s space is getting more and more difficult. Spiritual conversations online are happening more and more. And on a personal note I travel a lot. The physical space I share with others tends to change often, but the online space is always there.
In light of these two things came the idea of SimpleDisciplemaking.com. This website exists to help everyday people make disciples wherever they are with whatever they have. The Disciplemaking Challenge was the first step in igniting that vision ablaze. It was my first step.
The problem was I could find so many reasons why I shouldn’t take the first step. I don’t know how to build a website. What if no one engages with the content? What do I really know about disciplemaking? I am too young to do this. I am out of touch with what is going on with the potential readers (since I live overseas). Personally I am hitting some roadblocks in my disciplemaking journey. Some of those roadblocks are: I don’t have a set path to take people through, I don’t often see those I am influencing reproducing what they learn from me. I also haven’t seen much longevity in relationships (probably because I have moved a lot). These were just some of the reasons in my mind standing between me and that first step. The list goes on.
But in spite of all of that the first step was in front of me. I felt the Holy Spirit nudge and I didn’t resist.
Fast forward 10 months and...
I have learned a lot about disciplemaking and have have realized how much I still have to learn.
I have challenged 65 other believers to take steps towards making disciples of Jesus on a weekly basis.
I explain all of this to show the value in taking that first step. The first step can and usually is quite simple. In taking just one step forward we demonstrate our faith. We also learn in the process.
That being said I want to thank God so far for what He has done in me and through this website. I also want to let you know we are taking a break for the next few months. You will not be receiving The Disciplemaking Challenge weekly for the next few months. My family and I will be moving back to America and I need to focus on our transition. I will also be taking time to assess how we will be moving forward with The Disciplemaking Challenge.
Thank you for joining this effort. It has been a joy and will continue to be in the future.
Yours for the journey,