Tag Archives: evangelism

Counting the Cost of Discipleship

In September of 2009, I started an Immersion Discipleship Training (IDT) program. Now, a year later, I have much to reflect on.

This week, I started my second year of my IDT student internship at New Song Christian Fellowship in Nashville, Tennessee. It’s safe to say that I’ve been effectively discipled in this last year. I am more proficient in the Word and Spirit. I walk in more power and authority. I also have a lot less free time on my hands.

Biblical discipleship is not that common of a thing. Few churches and Christian communities invest the time in the upcoming generations.

The current trend is quite opposite of what I’m experiencing at New Song. Most leaders today hoard their positions, grasping them with a greedy death grip. New Song’s leaders don’t do that.

Discipleship is expensive! But not necessarily in the monetary sense. Sure books and materials for Bible classes cost money. Yes, the cost of food to feed students is consequential. But the greatest cost of biblical discipleship is time.

Time, talent and treasure. God asks us to sow all of those things into His Kingdom. These triad T’s are being sown into me.

Time
Want to show somebody you love them and care about their future? Invest time in them. Give them the thing that cannot be repaid. Give them the ticking seconds on your life’s clock.

The staff at New Song Christian Fellowship believes in pouring into the next generation and they do it very well.

Talent
Each person is created by God with a unique set of gifts. These gifts are not meant to be exploited for personal gain. Rather, they are designed to be shared. We are created to bless and complement each other. We are meant to work together. We’re weak in some areas so others can be strong and help us with them. Too, we are strong in particular practices so we can practically provide for others. Daily I am strengthened in my weak areas because the staff at New Song share their talents with me and help me refine the talents God gave me.

Treasure
I admit it. Money is important. But money doesn’t make the world go ’round. The earth spins because Jesus holds all of the universe together. We can’t serve two masters, God and money. We have to instead master our money and use it for God’s Kingdom. Numerous people have sown financially into me. I live in a host home rent-free. I’ve received anonymous financial gifts. I’ve gotten gift cards to buy food. My high school mascot was a Pirate. As a Pirate, I really love treasure. 😀

My hope for every person reading this is that you have an opportunity to be discipled. Know Christ better. Grow in your knowledge of the Word. Know that the Bible is not this obscure, impossible to understand book. Realize Christ is alive. Life a life of dynamic power and movement.

If you’re not plugged into a dynamic community of believers, don’t despair. There’s hope for you.

The Lord has impressed it upon the hearts of the New Song leadership to create a resource called Disciple’s Handbook. This way anybody who wants to can be effectively discipled. The Great Commission is carried out through this resource. We’re currently in the process of writing the pilot edition of Disciple’s Handbook. It’s not perfect. There may be a typo or thirty. But we know that it’s God-inspired and Holy Spirit directed. The end result of Disciple’s Handbook will be three editions with 12 lessons. Right now we’re up to lesson seven in edition one. We’re working on writing lesson 11 right now. However, the rest of the book and editions haven’t even been written yet! That’s how fresh this is.

Go to New Song’s website to download the lessons for Disciple’s Handbook. Post a comment and let me know what you think of it!

Pastor Dale Evrist, Senior Pastor of New Song Nashville does a daily Old Testament podcast on iTunes. If you want to grow in understanding the Old Testament and how it applies to you today, listen to his free podcast. It’s full of great truth and life lessons. Download iTunes if you don’t already have it. Here’s a link to his Walking Through the Word Podcast on iTunes.

Consider yourself resourced! I am going to warn you, though. Laying down your life in obedience to Christ is costly. But it’s absolutely worth the investment!

Foreign Impressions On My Domestic Life

In the previous post, you read an abridged version of what generally went down on my mission trip to the Dominican Republic. This blog is specifically about how I was affected personally. I’ll discuss what I was hoping for going into the trip, what happened while there and where I am now. I’ll try to go in order with each of the three sections so it’s easier to follow the progression. We’ll see how it pans out.

What I Was Hoping For Going Into the Trip

* Greater clarity for my future
* Build better relationships with the other Frontline young adults
* Grow in compassion for missions and evangelism
* Reduce my dependence on convenient, comfortable living (i.e. sleeping and food conditions)
* Become a more proficient Spanish speaker
* Grow in greater intimacy with the Lord

What Happened While There

* Greater clarity – I received clear evidence that I speak prophetically in the Spirit and that I hear accurately from the Lord. It was confirmed time and time again that the Lord speaks to me and what I share from Him resonates with other people.
* Better relationships with fellow Frontliners – That definitely happened! I was with the same group of people consistently for 12 days. We shared everything, much like the church of Acts. I had several wonderful conversations with numerous different people. While in the DR, the group of us became a family. I love seeing everyone now. Every time we meet up, it’s like a little reunion. We’ve moved beyond surface friends and entered into endearing family.
* Compassion for missions and evangelism – Walking actively in missions and evangelism for several days in a row makes a person grow in that area. I did grow in compassion naturally. It wasn’t forced and it wasn’t arduous. Because of the Holy Spirit, it was easy to serve together with the rest of the team in these areas. Yes, I got tired sometimes, but I enjoyed all of the evangelistic things we did.
* Convenient, comfortable living – After showering in cold, contaminated water, I slept in my own sweat on a thin, foam mat in a non-air conditioned room. I ate a bunch of strange food. I couldn’t flush my toilet paper. It wasn’t convenient and it wasn’t comfortable. But I did not complain. Rather, I just accepted it for what it was and continued on.
* Spanish speaking – I didn’t know a lot of Spanish before I left. I still don’t know that much. However, it was great to use all the stuff I’d learned in my Spanish classes in a real-time. I am continuing to study Spanish as often as possible. We have lots of Spanish channels on TV. Sometimes I watch the programming. Not the sappy soap operas, though.
* Intimacy with the Lord – Check, check and triple check! My personal time with Jesus was amazing. Our group devos were wonderful. I journaled, worshiped, and…simply…grew. It was great to walk in personal and corporate intimacy with Jesus. Truly awe-inducing.

Where I Am Now

Different. I’m different. I realize how spoiled Americans are. I realize how much money I have even when I feel like I have nothing. I appreciate my pillow top bed immensely. Continuous, hot showers are a celebration. I would go on another mission trip. I don’t feel called to be a full-time foreign missionary. But I do know that I’m constantly on mission with the Spirit wherever I am. I now have better relationship with my Christian brothers. I need a healthy balance of men and women in my community and now I’ve got it.

My perspective has permanently shifted. Thank You, God, for that!