by Pastor Scott Godinez
Often I go on bike rides and I love to bring my children along with me. It slows me down A LOT, takes longer to get everything set up and prepared, and when we ride they always demand the “Frozen” soundtrack to play at full volume.
Yet despite all of these small inconveniences I know we get to spend more time together and I love the model my daughters get to see. During a tough climb Tobin will ask:
“Daddy, is this a big hill?”
Gasping for air I reply, “yes girl….(trying desperately to inhale oxygen) this is a pretty big hill!”
“And are we heavy?”
Even more gasping, “oh yea girls, its a little heavy”
“But you’re strong so you can do it right!!”
It’s a perfect opportunity for me to draw her attention to how Jesus uses all of his power to help us with big mountains too. I tell them how he loves them even more than me, and how he carried something super, super heavy, our sin, it’s a great transition into teaching them about the Gospel!
These are the small moments where discipleship happens with my children. This is just another way I try to integrate my faith into everything we do together.
Do not think this is the responsibility of a “pastor” or a “good christian” this is the foundational expectation that must characterize any and every person who calls themself a Christian!
There is an explicit call to the follower of Jesus to teach others all that Jesus has taught you!
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, and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:19-20
And for parents the Bible doubles down on this command:
These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:6-9
How are you sharing the word of God with your children today? How are you making disciples of all nations?
These are Jesus’ words!! His gospel, was never intended to be a one-off firework that explodes in luminous color for a moment then fades into darkness. Instead, the Gospel of Jesus, this life-changing good news is intended to grow and grow, and spread and spread until the kingdom of God extends to the ends of the earth! And we are expected to have a role in this process:
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria,and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8
One of the most effective places for sharing biblical truth is within the arms of a friendship you already have! These are people that God has providentially placed in your life, within your influence.
Yes, love them like Jesus, and pray for them like Jesus, but you must also TELL THEM ABOUT JESUS—and use His name! Don’t make them wait until Sunday morning to hear about Jesus, you cannot be certain either of you even have that much time left.
Don’t be so concerned of what people will say, be more concerned about what you will say to God when he asks you to explain why you didn’t follow his command to make disciples.
How might God use your time differently if he had total control over your calendar?
What comes most naturally for you do to when you think of ministry? What comes most unnaturally for you? Try them both! Remember, don’t allow yourself to make the excuse that you are no good talking to strangers, start with your friends! Yes, even the ones who are already believers. Ask tough questions, identify where you can offer your support and insights God has taught you.
It is such a cool thing to see how we can take advantage of any moment with each other and share what God is teaching us that day, or just listen to another person pour out their heart and offer to pray for them. You can do it on a bike ride, over coffee, on a walk, or the dog park! And with social distancing, you might even have to yell for them to hear you which could be a great thing because now more people will hear about Jesus too!
There are no shadows where the light of Jesus cannot illuminate, there are no places where God cannot work. Be on alert for any opportunity you get to point someone toward Jesus.
There is a famed quote:
if you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together.
On my bike I can get a lot more places quicker and easier without the additional 80lbs that comes from pulling my girls. But Jesus has not called me to pass everyone on the way to heaven, but he has called me to love them, to serve them, and to teach them to obey everything that he has commanded. Oh yea, we gotta teach them to be disciple-makers too!
This is the ministry that you and I have both been called to join when we became followers of Jesus. Don’t waste another minute on the sideline kicking the grass, trade your dirt for diamonds and experience following Jesus in his call to make disciples!
Pray with me,
Holy Spirit, speak to me, lead me with your words, help me to see what areas of my life you have equipped me to minster to others. Help me to make the sacrifices that mission demands to see the name of Jesus magnified in the lives of my loved ones and my community. Create in me a spirit of boldness to love first, and to love louder than the world and its woes. In Jesus we are already victorious, help me to live like it!
In Jesus’ name,
PS. If you want to learn more about how to become a disciple-maker, reach out to myself or one of our pastors and we can get you connected with resources and awesome people to help train you to feel more confident in talking about your faith with friends!