by Phil Martin
In December after we settled in, the work of full-time ministry began. Our goal was to meet as many people as possible. We did this to spark relationships and eventually, study the bible with those who were interested. Sounds easy, BUT if you knew me in college you would know it wasn’t. I was terrified of people: their looks, their rejection, their thoughts about me in response to proclaiming Jesus as my Savior. Therefore, when it was time to invite someone to church and study the bible, I could have peed my pants. Little did I know, that wouldn’t be the hard part.
The week after Sherry became a Christian, Jake taught a class about leading new believers to become mature ones. You know that part in the great commission, where we are all commanded to teach what the disciples observed. The thought of teaching someone how to love Jesus and seek His wisdom through His Word terrified me. Jake broke it down into four categories: personal (walk with God), relational (with others), ministry (service), and discipleship (teaching others to do the same). My reaction to this was, “I don’t want anyone to imitate how I personally approach all these categories, I am still learning too!” Don’t get me wrong, it never occurred to me that training others and making disciples would be easy. However, I also didn’t have a clue what it entailed.
1. God uses His people because HE works in His people.
We can teach the spiritual things, the difficult things, and the practical things because God says He is with us. His Word is in us and as a family we work together to fight sin, grow, and learn how to live a life that glorifies God. This is how God designed it, and in all his wisdom to chooses to use broken people who have been redeemed to worship him and teach others.
2. God is the one doing it. Glory belongs to Him, not to us.
Now, when I am tempted to think of failing or saying something unhelpful to Sherry, I can remember she is not a product of me or my success. Rather she is a product of God’s immeasurable riches of grace and steadfast love.
The last eight months I have felt rejection, been laughed at, and ignored. Nonetheless, I have experienced boldness and grace for evangelism and discipleship. God gave us the opportunity to share the Good News with many people, invite them to church, and now study the bible with several friends. It has also been a learning experience to care for Sherry as we explore different areas of her life and see how God is working in both of us.