Tag Archives: free

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!

Captive Audience

Tonight I went to my second Murfreesboro Writers’ Group meeting. The first time I went, I read a song I recently wrote while on a plane ride. It was called “Fragmented Patches.” Maybe I’ll post it later. I don’t know. Do you want to read it?

I joined the writers’ group for a few reasons. I want to meet new people. I work at home so I have a limited workplace sphere of influence. Through this group, I can influence people. I haven’t been writing very much and I wanted motivation to start again. I have nothing else to do on the second and fourth Wednesday of every month. I used to have Life Group that night, but ours now meets on the second and fourth Sundays of the month.

This writers’ group is a HUGE witnessing opportunity. Huge. Huge. As you’re surely aware, writing is a deeply personal activity. Writers write what they feel. And, if they claim to have no feelings, they make up characters who have the feelings the writer is denying.

What you may or may not know about writers is that they generally value each other’s work highly. For example, this particular writers’ group is for constructive criticism only. There is no tearing down of work, thought or concepts. There are many compliments. Several people are impressed by other people. A lot of the attendees in this group are writing novels and short stories. I am mostly focusing on poetry. When I read a poem, some of the writers have no concept of how to construct a poem. They are in awe of the entire poetry genre. To them, it’s a terribly interesting thing that they like but don’t know how to do.

As I was casually seated in my oversized Barnes and Noble chair, I quickly realized how crucial this opportunity is for me. I can write about whatever I want and they have to sit there and listen to me. The same goes for them. I have to sit there and listen to whatever they say too.

I am a Christian. My life is Christ. Naturally, I write about Jesus/God/the Holy Spirit/worship. Some of these folks “aren’t religious.” Those are their words, not mine. But they are intrigued by the things I’ve written and shared. They find what I say interesting and eloquent.

That’s good, because I prayed they would. I asked God to soften their hearts and make them receptive to the Truth that I’ll deliver. I also asked Him to protect me from any harmful subject matter that the other writers detail.

My first week, I read the part of a flirty, vampire girl. That’s so not my life. But this lady was writing a play and she needed people to read the lines. That was the part I was given.

I’ve heard stories of other-worldly mutant dogs; vampires; back-from-the-dead brothers; a pre-meditated, adultery-headed man; sword-chasing, sci-fi fantasy characters and a seriously demented mortician. Oh the imagination writers have!

And to that spattering of ideas and fantasies, it’s my task to bring Jesus.

I must be intentional with the stuff I present. I have a captive audience. Literally. In two ways. One, they are captive and must pay attention to what I say. Two, they are captives, bound in the lies of the enemy. With the truth that I share through my poems/songs/potential novels, I will hope they see freedom. And, in turn, desire to grasp that freedom.

So, if you’re reading this and you believe in Jesus, please pray for me. I have a unique and powerful opportunity. I’m very excited. I like being spurred to write again, too. It’s such a catharsis for me. I get a little giddy thinking about the possibilities of the words that will come out.