I will never forget showing up to the Community Bakery in downtown LIttle Rock, Arkansas in 2001 to spend time with one of my close friends and mentors. We had known each other for about 5 years at that time. As we sat there with our coffee and pastry he said, “I have 5 questions I want to ask you and 3 things I want to tell you.” I was a little caught off guard and I wasn’t sure what to say other than, “ok”. I don’t remember the specifics of that conversation. I do remember having the realization that he was paying close attention to my life and wanted to help me make sense of what God was doing. I was in the middle of a significant moment and I needed him to walk in it with me. He was loving me. Oh, I also remember the exact pastry that I ate.
Over the next few posts I am going to be sharing thoughts on what I call God Moments in Disciple Making. I recently shared one called the Moment of Vision but thought it might be good to backup a step to set it all up.
What do I mean by a “God Moment?” God Moments are unique situations, events, or circumstances in someone’s life where significant spiritual growth can occur. These moments are part of God’s way of working in our lives as followers of Jesus. They can be hard. They can be joyful. They can take time. They can happen fast. They are almost always unexpected. They are not a list to check off. You can think of them as a lens to look through as you make disciples. You will probably come back to each of them at different times. And, they can always be used by God to make us more like His Son.
As disciple makers, our role is to pay attention to when the moments occur in the lives of those we are discipling. Then we do our best to love them in a way that helps them see and embrace what God is doing. We do not create the moments or use them as opportunities to manipulate. We simply listen for them, walk along side, and love.
Whatever the moment looks like, the end goal is always the same; To lead those we disciple to encounter Jesus so that they can become more like Him and live more fully for Him.
Before we get into the God Moments, there are two commitments to keep in mind:
- The Commitment to the Relationship: Jesus gathered together a very small, unimpressive group of people that He loved as deeply as possible. As John 13:1 says, “Having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.” He made disciples in the context of a community of people. He sacrificed time and energy for them on a daily basis. He loved them and taught them to love each other. He called them family and friends. The relationships were always growing deeper. For us to help people see what God is doing in their lives, we must be committed to them in a growing relationship of love. There are no shortcuts.
- The Commitment of Time: In order to help someone see these moments in their life, we must follow the example of Jesus and spend a great deal of time over a long period of time with those we are investing in. Jesus was with His disciples for over 3 years. As Robert Coleman stated, “Contrary to what one might expect, as the ministry of Jesus lengthened into the second and third year he gave increasingly more time to His chosen disciples, not less. He actually spent more time with the disciples than with everyone else in the world put together.” Discipleship takes a long time. It often takes longer than we think it should. But, we must stay the course with people.
We must be committed to the deep relationships. We must be committed to taking as much time as necessary. If we will learn to keep our eyes open and stay committed to people, we will get the privilege of seeing God do great things.
Here are the God Moments I see in the Gospels that we will explore: