Recently my wife and I were out to dinner and I was moved to asked her this question, “Are we serving God enough?” Our first response was no, but as we thought more about our lives and our involvement with our children, church, and school, we felt that we were serving our Lord to our satisfaction.
Shortly after that night I began my preparation for this blog by reading Real-Time Connections: Linking Your Job with God’s Global Work. As I was reading Chapter 5: Living as a Disciple, I was reminded of my favorite quote from my pastor, “My job is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comforted”. Allow me to explain.
The beginning of the chapter, the author Bob Roberts Jr. describes a model of ministry that his church and others around the globe use. The model consists of 3 integrated components as follows:
- “Interactive relationship” with God – This consists of our worship to God and it “enables us to learn to hear God’s voice in a regular daily way”. Some of the best times I have and worshiping God is when my family is asleep and I have the house to myself late at night. Because there is no music, people, or distractions I am free to pray and worship Him intimately which allows me to be more open and receptive to His voice.
- “Transparent connections” – This consists of small group ministry that leads to accountability and community. The couples’ cell group that my wife and I lead at our church is the most rewarding part of ministry for me. Being able to be transparent and share common marriage situations strengthens our marriage and keeps us connected. Knowing that other couples face the same challenges we do helps us to be able to resolve any differences that we face.
- “Glocal impact” – Where we “use our jobs as the platform from which we serve together in our community and the world.” Honestly, I am lacking in this part of my ministry. My co-workers know I am a Christian and I live by example, but now I want to witness one on one with them. I want to be an ambassador on behalf of Christ. The key to this model is that all three components must work together simultaneously. What I learned from this is to use all three of these components in my life and not just the first two. You see, I go to church regularly and pray daily, lead a small group (components 1 & 2 of the model). But I want to use my job as an Accountant for ministry also. How do I do that? I do that by becoming a “true” disciple.
It was right along here where I was feeling pretty good about myself until I read the 3rd component to the model and was reminded of my pastors quote.
The last part of the chapter defines 7 characteristics of what a “true” disciple is.
- A true disciple is Broken. Being broken brings repentance and gets ourselves out of the way of what God wants to do.
- A true disciple Obeys. One needs to be willing to take up our cross and follow the Master no matter what.
- A true disciple is a Learner. Not only should we be in the word of God, but we must also be aware of our surroundings and culture.
- A true disciple Engages. We should use our teaching to be involved in the lives of those we are serving.
- A true disciple Discerns. “Biblical discernment is the ability to accurately perceive where people are and where they are headed, and then gracefully show them a different way to move forward.”
- A true disciple has Faith. Faith is a verb. It’s requires action and not only a belief.
- A true disciple Loves. Our love for Jesus is seen through the way we serve others.
By rediscovering what a true disciple is, I have learned that I want my job to be a part of my ministry, working together with my personal and church ministry. I want to become a true ambassador for Christ as described by Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:18-20. I want my life to truly make a difference for the great commission.
Maybe there is a component of ministry you are challenged by? Maybe you are opposite of me in that you pour out so much of your ministry in your job, that your personal, family, or group time suffer. My prayer is that we use all three of these components of ministry equally and effectively. I also pray the God will afflict (challenge) us when we are comfortable! Be Blessed!
Yeah, that number three gets me too :). It's mostly the global thing. Sometimes it feels like little ol' me can't make an impact. I love this definition of true discipleship. Something to aspire to, definitely.
Henry Blackaby teaches about this very thing in the Experiencing God journey. He speaks about people praying to be a part of God's will and work and that they spend all their time praying when they should be moving through their church, family, work places and communities looking for where it is that God is at work and then simply join in with Him in that work.
#3 is a hard one for most Christians because it requires us to move out of our fortresses of solitude (church) into our culture which requires time, finances and intention…just a couple of the things that we are hesitant to give over control of in our lives today………
I think it was Meatloaf that said… “Now don't be sad, 'cuz two outa three ain't bad…” If I'm honest (something that I try to do often here), then I would have to agree with you guys when you say that #3 is the hardest to do on this list. It is just so easy to get wrapped up in the daily grind that we often 'forget' to make this a strong focus of everything that we do.
Thanks for chiming in here Laura! I really appreciate you!
Love this: “people praying to be a part of God's will and work and that they spend all their time praying when they should be moving through their church, family, work places and communities looking for where it is that God is at work and then simply join in with Him in that work.”
Totally agree dude! I've taught a study on Blackaby's stuff before, and that is some good stuff! Thanks for sharing that here! It is an important point to make at this point of the discussion on this book…