As you walk in your calling to disciple the hurting there will be times when you’ll wonder: Is it all for naught? Perhaps the ministry that you envisioned is not turning out how you dreamed. Or the work is slower than you expected. Or the people you are pouring yourself into are making foolish choices. When these types of events take place it is easy to get discourage and possibly even think about giving up. But it is at moments like these that we must trust God and be even more faithful to the work He has called us to do.
I know. I’ve been there. In fact, at one such low point in my life’s calling, discouraged by the slowness of the ministry, that I too was wondering if it was all for naught. In God’s divine orchestration, at that exact moment, I happened to once again travel across the beautiful countryside of Bulgaria, at a time of year in which normally the sunflowers would be abundant. Yet on this particular trip there were no sunflowers. Instead there were just acres and acres of mustard weeds.
I must say I was a bit disappointed, but it matched my mood! It’s all for naught! What difference am I making! This ministry must be a waste of time and resources! Maybe I should just go back to America and give up this calling. These were the musings of my downcast heart. But it was then with His still small voice that the Lord whispered to the depths of my heart.
Wow! If I have faith has small as a mustard seed. In other words, our faith does not need to be huge as you can see from the mustard seed photo. We simply need to trust God and walk in obedience to what He is putting on our hearts to do.
You see, although it may have appeared as if my ministry to disciple the hurting was all for naught, I am called to trust God and walk in His way. I am not to live by my feelings and emotions—nor are you. So I chose to trust Him and I spent three days ministering to those whom we were training up to do the work in their town. I then jumped back on a bus to travel the width of that country once more.
To my everlasting joy, popping their heads just above the mustard weeds were the sunflowers! There they were! They were always there! I just couldn’t see them. They were hidden beneath the mustard weeds.
As I watched the acres and acres of sunflowers rush past the window the Lord was whispering, once again, to my aching and questioning heart: Your ministry of individuals will be uncountable. You must go to everyone I send you to. You must say whatever I command you to say (see Jeremiah 1:4-10). And as you do, as you minister to each individual, their lives will then impact the lives of those around them.
How many seeds does one sunflower yield? How many lives does one disciple touch? The answer—it’s uncountable!
I once saw this principle—on discipling individuals—in a mathematical formula. It went something like this:
If you were one of the greatest evangelist and a thousand people every day came to the Lord through your ministry it would take something like 356 years to reach the world’s population. However, if you discipled one person for one year at the end of the year you have two disciples. Now hang with me for a moment. If you and your disciple then spent one year discipling up another hurting person at the end of the second year you would have four disciples. If this continued and each disciple carried on the tradition to disciple up a new person for one year within 35 years we could reach the world’s population!
But not only that, and this is where it gets really exciting, the person didn’t just raise his or her hand at an event and then walked away. They were discipled up to be a victorious walking Believer in Christ who would then be contagious for the Lord!
We can reach the world’s population if we are just willing to trust Him with this call He has placed on our hearts and continue to focus on that one or two or possibly even three disciples that God puts in our paths.
Think about it. Why did Jesus discipled the few (twelve to be in fact) but He taught the multitudes. It was eleven out of the twelve that went out and changed the world. It wasn’t the multitudes who changed the world—it was the few who were discipled.
Can you imagine? You and I, as we choose to trust the Lord in our calling, no matter what the outcome may seem at the moment, we have the ability to change the world!
Discipling only takes an hour or so a week. Do you have one hour a week to disciple up someone who is hurting? Do you have that heart but don’t know how? Is that what is holding you back? If so, check out the Go in Peace Biblical Discipleship Curriculum. It is written in such a way that anyone can pick it up and start to use it immediately to disciple another. Or click here to see if I have an upcoming training soon. In fact, we have an upcoming Leadership Training in September 2013, which you are welcome to attend.
Discipling is so important that this is why I believe one of the last statements spoken by Jesus before He ascended to heaven was:
The Lord is with you always as you choose to trust Him in this calling He has on your life.
Feel free to share this blog with your friends or pin it to one of your boards. Is there something keeping your from fully trusting the Lord in the call He has on your life? Or do you want to share with the readers any encouraging words of how God inspired you to continue in your calling. Feel free to leave a comment or even ask for prayer. Won’t you join me as we go out and change the world—one person at a time. God bless!