When I was in high school, my youth group leader hung out with our small group a few times a month. We went to coffee shops, took the train to her apartment in Oak Park, sat with her after church to catch up on the week, and of course, we spent time on Wednesdays praying together after we discussed the lesson for the week. She was my friend. More than that, Cari was my mentor, even though she never assigned herself that title. She was the first one who modeled what it looked like to embrace holy interruptions.
As I began volunteering for Young Life in college, I also started meeting with Megan for prayer and accountability. We discussed everything from how to be a better Young Life leader to how to best balance life, college, and ministry.
As I’ve moved through new life milestones such as graduating college, working full-time, changing careers, moving to new communities, and joining different churches, I can name different women who have had a significant impact on each season. They have cheered me on, prayed with me, offered words of encouragement, and had different perspectives as I’ve wrestled with challenging moments. These women have been living examples of The Great Commission and I am a better wife, mother, and disciple of Christ because of their transparency.
One thing I’ve come to realize is that lifelong Christians frequently quote verses that land in the middle of paragraphs without considering the context of the sentences around the verse they consider important. This frequently happens with The Great Commission in Matthew 28:16-20, which says,
Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”emphasis added
The Foundation of Discipleship
Our part of the Great Commission starts with obedience and continues as we build trust-based relationships with people and teach them what we understand about God. We need community to live out The Great Commission. It is the foundation of discipleship.
- Learn about God
- Live in a way that invites others to spend time with you
- Share the gospel message
- Continue to walk alongside your friend as they learn about living life with God
- Encourage others to also go and make disciples
We are Created for Community
When you reflect on different seasons of your life, who was there for you? Who helped guide you when challenges arose? Who has mentored you? We are created for community. It’s where we thrive. And part of our communities often includes discipleship relationships! I’d love to share your story.
I’ve learned that hearing others’ stories often encourages people to take a courageous next step, and when it comes to discipleship, we could all use an encouraging word. So, I’m inviting you to share your discipleship story. Similar to how I’ve hosted my Wives Who Thrive series, I’m opening my blog to anyone who would like to share a story about how their experience as a mentor or having a mentor (or both!) has impacted them. You’re welcome to submit a post or use the questions I’m including in my submission guidelines. I can’t wait to read your story!