Category Archives: MAKE DISCIPLES

When I was in prison, you visited Me.

prison guard with keys outside dark prison cell

Hi, This is Tex.  My calling is discipleship: knowing, being, making and teaching others to make disciples for Jesus.  A big part of being a disciple is in being involved with “extra-church” activities, where you develop relationships with people who are NOT your garden variety church-goers.  Prison ministry is one of those activities.  I’ve been involved in prison ministry for about 16 years now, and the Holy Spirit moves in prisons in a way He hardly ever moves in traditional church.  Below is a letter from Jim, a brother of mine in the Jubilee Prison Ministry.  This story is about a prison ministry weekend that happened a few weeks ago near Houston.

I have been serving in prison on Jubilee or Kairos weekends for 17 years.  Many of you have supported my efforts over the years  (thank you!) and have often asked me what happens on these weekends.  So I thought you might enjoy the following story – I’m a CFO, cynic and pessimist but this story is miraculous (or very close to it).

I was the leader of Jubilee #1 at the Scott unit in Angleton 3 weeks ago.  One of my jobs was to assign the 25 or so talks to our volunteers.  Most of the Scott #1 volunteers were new, so I didn’t know them – so had little insight to help assign the right talk to the “right” person.  So I asked God to somehow intervene as I made “random” talk assignments.  I assigned the “Forgiving Others” talk to Joseph, one of 3 volunteers who came from San Antonio to serve.  Joseph is a relatively new Christian, and is also an ex offender, so when he heard about Jubilee he believed God had called him  and agreed to participate.  Our weekend started early Friday morning.  Joseph’s talk occurred Saturday afternoon.  Here is a summary of his talk:

“My little brother was murdered on April 1st.   I was very close to him, and was unbelievably upset, angry and full of hatred at the man who killed him.  I started planning my revenge – when, where and how I was going to kill the man who murdered my little brother.   But then I agreed to serve on this Jubilee weekend.  Continue reading

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IF IT’S GOOD FOR PAUL AND SILAS, IS IT GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME? 110615

Two young girls having conversation in the park

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.  Continue reading

KBMT FOR JESUS #1.2TIM2:2.103115

Business concept image of a businessman pointing Coaching icon on virtual screen over blue backgroundThe word ‘disciple’ as used in the Bible, means ‘follower’ or ‘one who is taught’, that is ‘a student’.  But it’s more than a student, because these people devoted all their time and energy to the process.  They lived with their teacher.  In 2 Timothy 2:2, Paul says  to Timothy, “You have learned many things from me, on many occasions, so teach those things to trustworthy people who will be able to teach others also.” These relationships are the process for making disciples.  In Matt. 28:18-20, Jesus says, “Go make disciples .  .  .”; and He had already started the process, with His first twelve disciples, (later known as apostles).  He taught them, and other followers, for three years.  Later He commissioned Paul as one of His disciples, in a dark room in Damascus.

Paul knew Jesus, and Jesus (by His Spirit) taught Paul to be a disciple, to make disciples, and to teach others to make disciples. Timothy knew Paul, and Paul taught Timothy . . . Trustworthy people knew Timothy, and Timothy taught them . . . Others knew those trustworthy people, and those trustworthy people taught them . . . and those ‘Others’ taught still others, right down to today.

I’m convinced that every person who has made a commitment to Jesus should be moving up this continuum of Know a disciple, Be a disciple, Make disciples and Teach others to make disciples for Jesus, from the time we first come to know Jesus until we meet Him in heaven.  We are able to do this because Jesus has empowered us BY HIS SPIRIT within us. This is the primary means God uses to change the world, by changing people from the inside out, and sending them into the world as his ambassadors.

So where are you in this process of making disciples?  You may be like me.  I’m old, and I just recently figured out I was supposed to be making disciples.  Or you may be ‘just a kid’ who is truly excited about the fact that the Spirit is moving in your life.  But no matter when you come to the revelation that you belong to Jesus and He belongs to you, right then you begin to see and develop discipleship relationships with the people God puts in your life, whether you’re intending to or not.  This is truly a Spiritual adventure!

You’ve heard the term ‘mentor’; in this case a disciple is someone who continues to learn from Jesus while she is spending time teaching others; someone who not only teaches you facts, but also shows you (demonstrates) how to live.  That’s who a disciple is and that’s what a disciple does.  Only difference is they are doing it, not just for the student (or for the teacher), but even more, they’re doing it for Jesus, by His Power that works within them.

PRACTICING CHRISTIAN, PART THREE.102215

Stress Burdens Sticky Notes Reminders for Stressful LifeIn the most recent post on this subject, I discussed that ‘practicing’ Christians follow certain fundamentals in their lives, the way baseball players follow certain fundamentals in playing baseball, and 1] is FOCUS ON GOD EVERY DAY.  I said something like, “Give Him some time and attention”.

Just this week I’ve been reminded that there are a lot of distractions in the world that keep us from (or impede our progress in) building this kind of relationship with Jesus.  I’m talking A LOT of distractions.  Some of them large and threatening, others apparently small and insignificant, but just as distracting.  Many of these are serious problems that require a great deal of time and attention, particularly in the eyes of well-meaning, God-fearing, Bible-believing people.  Things such as the state of our nation; the many astounding changes in our culture regarding sex, marriage, constitutional issues, leadership problems, immigration, liberal vs conservative disputes, and others too numerous to mention.  There are many, many things wrong, and someone just MUST do something about them.  All are legitimate concerns that require attention.

On the next level are all the things that we have to do TODAY!  Depending on what stage of life you’re at right now, Continue reading

MAKING DISCIPLES. 081615

Two guys in pool billiard club playing pool billiardIn Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus says, “All power is given to Me in heaven and earth.  So go into all the world and make disciples; baptizing them in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; teaching them to do all the things I have commanded you.  And know this, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”  So what does it mean, “MAKE DISCIPLES”?  There have been many books written on this very topic; and it would take a book to properly answer that question.  The short answer is: 1] Tell others what is required to become a ‘disciple of Jesus’; and 2] Show them how to do it.  ‘Disciple’ means, in Greek, ‘one who is taught’; also translated as ‘follower’.  I usually think ‘one who is taught’ is one who is WILLING to be taught; and a ‘follower’ is one who is WILLING to follow.

Before we talk about what it MEANS to ‘make disciples’; we need to talk about what it does NOT mean.  [1] It does not mean to preach the gospel and have people accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior, even though that happens along the way; that is still just a step in making disciples. Continue reading

WHAT HAPPENS NOW? 052115

[This is an excerpt from a Kairos Talk: Tomorrow]

Bible Group Praying TogetherCan we be changed?   Yes, but not by ourselves. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves.  It is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.”  To be changed, we must accept the gift of God.  We must realize how badly we need Him, and then give our whole selves to Him, and trust Him to take care of us, because we finally figured out we can’t take care of ourselves.

The guys at your family table are your brothers.  Christ’s challenge to you is to take care of them.  To stick up for them.  To meet regularly with them for prayer and share group. Continue reading

OUT OF THE DARK, INTO HIS MARVELOUS LIGHT.051615

[Excerpts from the Kairos Talk, ‘A Christian’]

DIverse People Holding Text Church

After I came to Houston, I spent 10 years living in the dark.  The dark of running away, trying to hide from God.  The dark of being a criminal defense lawyer.  The dark of trying desperately to figure out what to do about my estranged wife.  The dark of finally getting a divorce.  I still wasn’t really looking for God, but I was getting real beat up, and desperately seeking help.  And crazy as it seems, Jesus was still there.

I started going to church; and praying; and reading and studying the Bible.  I got involved in a Sunday School class and met some guys that were involved in Kairos, and after that I just sorta took off.  I got closer and closer to God. I began to realize what it meant to experience the mercy of Jesus. I started to realize what God really wanted me to do with my life.  You want to hear what it is?  He wants me to seek His Face every day; to talk to Jesus; to commune with the Holy Spirit; to listen to what He says and try to do it, on a moment by moment basis. Continue reading