You’ve heard that old song, “If it’s good for Paul and Silas, it’s good enough for me.” There’s lot of stuff from “the good ole days” that IS good enough for me. I mean not from ‘their’ era, but from the days of my youth. Good ole Gospel singing. Billy Graham preaching. Maybe even a tent revival with preachers speaking the truth of God, and the people truly rising to the occasion and meeting the Spirit with their hearts. It’s been a long time since I experienced the movement of the Spirit like that.
But as it applies to ‘making disciples’, what I experienced when I was young fell short of what I now perceive as God’s will for our lives as disciples of Jesus. Even now-a-days I find much of the teaching in churches about discipleship is pretty dry and academic. I hear about programs for college kids where they spend the summers working at jobs and spending all their ‘free’ time walking the beaches talking to people about Jesus. High intensity training in making disciples. In six to eight weeks each kid gets to talk to several hundred (200-300) people. People are getting saved, making a commitment to Jesus. Their lives are being transformed; the kids (the evangelists) as much as their contacts. No matter what they do for God in the future, it changes their whole perspective on what it means to “follow” Jesus.
Talk about learning to trust God, rely on the Spirit, and talk and listen to people and do it with love in your heart. Praise the Lord God in heaven! These kids are BEING salt and light to people in a dark world.
So how can we teach the kids, the tweens, the teens, the young adults, even some of the geezers who really WANT to follow Jesus? What can we do and say, right here, right now, to open their eyes and let them see what it’s like to be a disciple of Jesus. What we need to do is show kids what happens when we 1] stand on the promises of God; 2] when we’re thirsty for the truth and excited about getting to share it with whoever will listen; both the ‘true believers’ and the interested bystanders; 3] when we’re willing to sacrifice for God in order to touch peoples’ lives with God and His love, grace and peace. We can teach these truths both inside the churches and out in the world. And it’s not just about a lecture or a sermon; or about reading something in a book and then discussing it. It’s about going into all the world, and making disciples.