The idea of balancing all aspects of life and love can easily be overwhelming. When our girls were very young something triggered in my heart as I was trying to be there for my family but needed to get to a hospital to see somebody who was needing my pastoral care. Including my daughters at a young age in this process of caring for others allowed these two worlds to cooperate with harmony rather than defining them as tensions to be balanced.
Balance gives the idea of counterweights working against each other with appropriate amounts of weight. Harmony is a healthy cooperation of all areas of life contributing to overall enrichment. My girls began to love visiting hospitals and praying for people as something we did because we are Christians rather than something dad did because he’s a pastor. People loved seeing the girls and the girls loved the ministry opportunities giving them a greater sense of confidence to pray and express the heart of God in their everyday lives. This is not about adding mentoring objectives to an already busy calendar but rather taking others with you on your journey to know Jesus.
People ministering to people as a way of life will truly change the world. Jesus never demonstrated this as some program we orchestrate. Jesus simply went along his way in life ministering to people everywhere he went. Most of Jesus’ miracles took place in moments of interruptions.
The woman with the issue of blood interrupted his efforts to get through a crowded place. He stopped and ministered to her rather than seeing her as a distraction. One time while Jesus was teaching a crowd of people those who couldn’t get in cut a hole in the ceiling. Jesus cooperated with what was taking place as a ministry opportunity.
God has called us to make disciples. Unfortunately many have reduced this to an institutional mandate. We must learn to take individual responsibility for those God has entrusted to our care in our everyday lives. Interruptions and distractions become part of our destiny when we search for what God is doing. Your ministry is not your ministry for Jesus. Your ministry is Jesus’ ministry through your surrendered, available life.
This is not what pastors and leaders do. This is what fruitful Christians do. Be fruitful and multiply releasing love, compassion and concern in every direction of life as a way of life. Making disciples isn’t a program we add into our already cluttered lives.
As stated at the beginning – this is not about adding mentoring objectives to an already busy calendar but rather taking others with you on your journey to know Jesus. Here are some basic ideas and suggestions on how to do this practically speaking:
It’s easier than you think it is.
- Love God the best way you know how.
- Love others the best way you know how.
- Invite others to do the things you do to love God and love others admitting that we are all on a journey just trying to find our way.
- Talk about how you spend time in devotions seeking God
- Connect with them at church.
- Connect with them at Community Group.
- Memorize verses together – consider Ps 84 a beautiful starting point of passionately seeking God.
- Look for evidence of passion in lives of those around you realizing these are clues to their destiny. Remember our lives are perfectly equipped with the experiences our dreams require.
More ideas for deeper more meaningful conversations:
You can’t give what you don’t have.
- God always starts with what we have.
- Consider what the most important discoveries and experiences in your journey have been and think about how you can effectively share those in conversation with others.
- Mentoring is a conversation and your experiences are part of the discussion. Practice sharing both successes and failures.
- We will not effectively “MEN-TOUR” others unless we invite MEN to TOUR our lives rather than giving unrealistic presentations.
Don’t fall into the trap of disqualifying yourself. It’s an age-old trick! You might be surprised how many great men and women God had to call out of their own sense of inability:
Moses was persistent about disqualifying himself but God wouldn’t take no for an answer:
Ex 3:11 But Moses said to God, “Who am I, that I should go…(NAS)
Exod 3:13 Then Moses said to God, “…What will I say to them?”
Exod 4:1 Moses answered and said, “What if they will not believe me, or listen to what I say?…
Exod 4:10 Then Moses said to the LORD, “Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently nor in time past, nor since Thou hast spoken to Thy servant; for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” (NAS)
Jeremiah felt under qualified:
Jer 1:7 But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a child.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. NIV
Gideon questioned himself and God:
Judges 6:13 “if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? “how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” NIV
Saul was very unlikely to be used by God:
1 Sam 9:21 And Saul answered and said, I am of the smallest of the tribes of Israel, and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin?… NASB
David had no status or influence:
1 Sam 18:23 …David said…I’m only a poor man and little known.” (NIV)
I’m nobody special and I don’t have any money or influence.
Solomon felt incapable and lived in the huge shadow of his famous father David:
I King 3:7 “…I am but a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in.” (NAS)
God’s not asking you to be something you’re not. He’s simply asking you to be you because that’s who he created you to be. When we learn to relax we are revealed correctly. No greater call than to simply love and care for others by investing time to become part of their story.
2 Cor 3:4-5 Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. (NIV)
Fruitful Christians make disciples as a lifestyle. Let’s do it!