By Zac Gandara
So this will be an on going series here on Rooftops & Sidewalks. As Love is not Lost has begun our journey of life outside of the institutional church we’ve come to find out that we have no idea how to make disciples of Jesus and none of our church past church experiences taught us how to do it. We were all just told to bring people to church.
When I was a youth pastor I was called into my pastors office, sat down, and scolded. He was frustrated at me because, “people were being drawn to me.”
"You should be pointing everyone to me!", he said with great authority.
I left this meeting hurt, confused, and with a heavy heart. Because I had always thought I was supposed to point people to Jesus, not to me, or any pastor. I really looked up to this man so the impact of his words were hard to stomach.
Over the years almost every one on one meeting I was called into, I was being reprimanded again and again for the same thing. The Lord soon had me move on from this religious organization. When I did, I went strait into graduate school were I began my Masters Degree training.
During this training I had a professor named Dave Helm. Dave taught the preaching course which included biblical hermeneutics. Each student was given the task of properly interpreting the book of Timothy and then present to the class our findings.
When it was my turn to share, I was nervous, but I knew that I had worked hard to study the passages properly, the rest was up to God. When I finished, Dave had some very helpful critiques of my hermeneutics, as for my presentation, he said what I never thought I would hear again…
"Zac you have been given a rare gift from the Lord. You have a gift to draw people to you. When you present the scriptures, people will like you a lot, they will say, ‘that guy gets it, I understand him and he understands me’. But this rare gift comes with great cost. You must know Jesus so deeply, and work so hard to study the scriptures thoroughly, that they never walk away saying, ‘I like that guy’, but they must walk away saying, ‘Jesus is so amazing’.
I began to weep. No one in the class had any idea why I began to weep, but I knew, so did the Spirit. What I once thought was a curse, was now described to me as a great gift, but it came at a price. That price is the complete death of me, that only Jesus may receive the credit, and that my life and words simply be used to reflect him and not myself or the gift he gave me.
So in making disciples I have found that it is about drawing people to you, to your life in Christ Jesus. Does your life look like Jesus?
HOW TO MAKE A DISCIPLE:
1. KNOW JESUS DEEPLY.
Devote your life to deep study of his word (the Bible) and even deeper study of his teachings & ways. (The Gospels, especially the beatitudes and the sermon on the mount.) Put those teachings and ways into direct action in your life, don’t wait, don’t pray, just obey. The Spirit will lead you as you obey.
2. LIVE LIKE JESUS LIVED.
We are inviting people into our lives and asking them to imitate the parts of our life that look like Jesus. No one is perfect accept Jesus and he saved us all, but if we are true followers of Jesus we are quick to look to him when we have stumbled and repent of our selfish ways. Take in how Jesus lived in his neighborhood, note how much he was out and about with people, notice what kind of people he was around, notice his profession before his baptism, look deeply at how he actually lived, not how you think he lived. Then live like that.
"Jesus wept over his zip code" - Leonard Sweet