Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Discipleship and Google Maps

A few years ago I was visiting Scottsdale, Arizona and I was asked by my pastor friend to share with the church leaders about discipleship. During the question and answer portion I was asked what I have heard so often, “where do you find the time to make disciples –people are busy?”

I went on to explain that discipleship is not a hat we put on or off. It is something we wear all time wherever we go. In other words you minister when you can where you can. And when God opens the door continue to build a relationship. That way when the person comes to his/her point of need for God he knows whom to call and where to call.

The next day one of the campus staff members was walking with his wife and their dog. As they neared their home, a car stopped beside them and a man asked for assistance. He said he was lost and handed them the address of the place he was looking for.

While the campus staff tried to figure things out, his wife went inside the house with their dog. Unable to figure out where the place was he handed the paper back to the man. It was then that he remembered what I said just the day before. He then asked for the paper again and tried to make conversation. But the man was in a hurry.

As the man was driving off, his wife came out with the printed map of the location from internet. He then chased the car to give the man the map. After a brief chase he caught up with him. He handed him the paper and the man was shocked.

He said, “I have been in the United States for 4 months, I am an Iranian Muslim and no one has done anything like this to me, why are you doing this?” The campus staff was caught off guard and did not know what to say. Eventually he responded and said, “I am a Christian and God loves you.” The man handed him his business card and told him that he wanted to stay in touch.

From that initial meeting a dinner has taken place where the campus minister and his wife have met not only the man and his wife but their 2 daughters who went to the University where the campus staff worked. They also introduced them to another Iranian couple.

All too often we are looking for ways to reach people --- when they are right there everyday. Discipleship is not a program that we undertake it is the reality of being secure in who we are as the children of God and the desire to share our Father’s love to those who are ready to receive it.

When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a ‘sinner.’” Luke 19:5-7

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