(10 points to the first person who can name three artists who recorded this song. Bonus points: why does the part of the song that follows “Another Saturday night” not fit what I am describing in this post?)
After a one week hiatus (because my parents visited last weekend), we hosted another “get together” at our house Saturday night. (See the posts “Fellowship of Faith…” and “S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night…” for a description of what I am talking about.) Several families from the previous weeks returned, and one new couple joined us. We’ve tried to invite new people each week so far.
We talked about several things this time. One couple talked about their upcoming move to the San Francisco area. I’m still in semi-denial concerning this move. Most of our time was spent talking about discipleship.
One of our brothers shared about the man who shared the gospel with him. Once my friend believed in Christ, this man did not consider his responsibility complete. He also help my friend learn what it meant to follow Christ. He did this by teaching, and also by sharing his life with my friend. In fact, my friend even lived with this man and his family for a short period. My friend learned that his mentor was not perfect, but that when he sinned, he was genuinely repentant, much like David when he was confronted by Nathan in the Old Testament.
Unfortunately, this experience was rare in our group – only one other person. Many of us had not been discipled like that. As one brother said, he always thought discipleship was just about tranferring information from one person to another.
We also talked about some of the difficulties in discipleship. Some of the things mentioned included thinking you did not know enough Scripture to disciple someone, thinking there are others who would be better disciplers, thinking that you are learning more from the one you are discipling, and not wanting to be transparent and share your failures.
We talked about this last one for some time. What happens when we are not transparent with the people that we disciple? We thought of three things: 1) we quench the Holy Spirit, 2) we lie to the one being discipled and ourselves, and 3) we set ourselves up as superior to the one being discipled (who may think that he or she cannot be as good as the discipler). The one being discipled will not learn what it means to fail and repent. Perhaps, we miss a major opportunity to teach about God’s grace and forgiveness.
I asked my wife what was most encouraging to her tonight. She said she was encouraged that the new couple allowed her to take care of their baby for a while. I think this encouraged them as well. My wife has a great servant’s heart.
We didn’t solve any theological disputes. We didn’t witness any miracles. We didn’t even sing a song. But, we did see God work through people as we interacted with one another. And, my brothers and sisters gave me much to think about when it comes to discipleship.