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Disciple-Making is a Relay...

in Blog, Disciple-making
...and God’s Word is the baton.
I’ve always thought of myself as a big kid. Perhaps it’s because my little one is still in kindergarten and running after my cuties keeps me active. Or maybe because of my gregarious, crazy personality. I wear my hair in pigtails to match my girls, and I love sporting my Tinkerbell t-shirt to go with their princess tops.

Yet despite my girlish quirks, I’m realizing more and more the responsibility I have as an older woman. This hit me recently when I was studying the Bible with a new believer.

Rose is a new mom from Côte d’Ivoire, Africa, in her early twenties. We sat across from each another on her white sectional, the smells of hot pepper wafting in the air. Delving into the Gospel of John, I asked her questions and pointed her toward the verses where she could find the answers. My heart filled with joy to see her discover God’s truths for herself. At the end of our time together, she asked about my teaching notes.

“Would you like to keep them?” I asked.

“Of course!” she replied eagerly.

I wanted to leap across the sofa and hug her. What a gift to be in her company and watch her grow!

The evening, I reflected on the men and women who invested in me when I was Rose’s age. Like a screen saver of pictures that flips from one image to the next, I saw in my mind’s eye the faces of Doug, the youth pastor who led me to Christ in high school; of Dr. and Mrs. Craigen, who counseled me to pursue seminary studies and missions; of Dr. Sauer, the professor who filled in for my dad by grilling my now-husband with questions.

I always thought of these mentors as givers, who poured into me while receiving little in return. After all, what did I have to offer them?

Now that I’m in their position, I realize that my eagerness to glean from their life experience and godly wisdom was a gift to them. It allowed them to exercise their spiritual gifts. It invigorated their own faith as they sought answers to my tough questions. And it filled them with joy to be used of the Lord as they passed on to the next generation what He had entrusted to them.

When Jesus gave us the Great Commission to make disciples, He didn’t intend for it to be onerous. Anyone who has engaged in this glorious endeavor can attest that it’s rewarding to watch others grow in the knowledge of God’s Word and love of the Savior.

If you haven’t yet embraced Christ’s invitation to make disciples, I invite you to join me.  You don’t have to have all the answers. You don’t even have to be “old.” You simply need to find someone who knows less than you do and teach them what you’ve learned about living out God’s love in this world.

Take that baton of God’s Word and pass it on. I promise you won’t regret it.

Angie Velasquez ThorntonAngie Velasquez Thornton served with her husband, Dan, and their two daughters in Senegal, Africa, for 10 years. They recently relocated to Montreal, Canada, where she continues to make disciples with Crossworld. Read Angie’s blog.

The people in this story are real, but their names have been changed to protect their privacy.

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