If the post title causes you to till your head and raise one eyebrow while staring at the computer screen, it is supposed to. During my years on campus I sat under the tutelage of several campus pastors. One of these was in the form of weekly prayer leader meetings. As Christians one of the most popular verses shared (especially within missions circles) is:
Matthew 28:18-20 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
This is our purpose, it is not only to go preach the good news and help people understand salvation, but to create and train disciples. This means sharing life with another person. The awesome part of this model is how quickly the replication can spread. If each person reaches X amount of people in their life time, and really trains them, then those people will not only likely remain in the faith their entire lives, but will also reach out to many more people in their lifetime.
So, sitting in Prayer Leader class, they would talk to us about how to disciple others and the importance of doing this using the phrase/commandment “You should be reproducing yourself!” It may or may not have caused some of us to snicker.
I was reminded of the importance of discipleship by one of my previous students. She was on the first international trip that I ever helped to lead. That trip to Thailand in 2009 with Xtreme Impact was a learning experience for us all, trying to keep up with and mentor 20 something students with only 1 Team Leader and 2 other college leaders!
This was the trip where one of our students had food sickness while at the airport, and they wouldn’t let him board. Our Team Leader waited with him, and told the rest of us to take the students down to the gate. We finally decided that we should board when they were announcing the final call. Waiting in line to board the gate people found out our group name. One of the students ran back to us (because we had all of the leaders at the end of the line conferring) to tell us something about our TL meeting us in America. I raced to the front of the line with her. When I arrived there I was informed that our other teammates would be meeting us in America. Adrenaline and shock kicked in as I ran to the back of the line to inform the other two college leaders (who had just completed their freshman years!). We stared at each other for a moment before granting high fives.
That journey home was very memorable, given the fact that 1/4 of the students were also sick during our several hour layover in Korea. Our TL had the team money (luckily we had the passports!) so we used individual’s debit/credit cards and told them to keep the receipts in order for everyone to get lunches while we waited. It was crazy and unexpected, just like most of that trip.
Despite the craziness of this trip, or maybe because of it, I’ve seen it inspire my students incredibly! They had the opportunity to really see God “show up.” Those students have mostly all graduated, gotten married, and gone on to begin their careers. I enjoy stalking them on facebook. One such student, Natalie (my elephant riding buddy) is currently on the World Race. This means that she will be doing a giant mission trip where she’ll be visiting 11 countries in 11 months! I cannot even begin to imagine, but lucky for me she blogs about her updates!
She’s currently in Thailand, where her journey started in 2009 with me! On her blog article “The Trip That Fanned the Flame” she shares about that first trip and how God used it in her life.
Not only that, but I have another student, Savannah who is also doing the World Race right now! She was on my Jamaica team in 2010 that had its own special challenges as well. She’s currently in Cambodia and blogs at: http://savannahdavis.theworldrace.org/.
I’m so proud of each of them, and all of the students (through home mission trips, foreign mission trips, bible studies, and being a prayer leader) that I’ve had the opportunity to work with. It is humbling to know that God uses the little that we do and makes it much! I want to use this nostalgic memory as a reminder to push ahead this year. I’ve helped to make disciples in the past, but I need to continue to find new ways to do this. If we all push ahead, each one reaching even just one, then we can really create a world filled with not just “believers” but people who’s lives are truly changed and daily reflecting His glory!
Books to read: