I was in the hospital pregnant with my first son, very ill, and hooked up to IVs from dehydration.
I was laying in bed feeling sorry for myself and wishing to die from the extreme nausea plaguing me when my holy roller sister swept in.
She had a boom box (yes, I said boom box) and a praise CD and asked if she could play worship music and pray over me.
As I stared at her tight, ringlet curls that fell to her shoulders I thought, “This lady has lost her ever-loving mind.” I declined the prayer, told her I was too sick to pray and pretty much nicely asked her to go.
A couple of years went by, my marriage was in shambles and I was dealing with horrible panic attacks.
My cousin invited me to her Baptist church and a women’s retreat and I was so lonely and desperate I thought why not, what do I have to lose?
The weekend consisted of hanging out with Baptist women that said weird things to each other like: “Amen” “Praise you Jesus” and “Hallelujah.”
They talked about Jesus like He was their BFF and I started to think He was standing right next them whispering in their ear.
I had no clue what these ladies had, but as they shared their stories with me and I felt their hope, I decided I needed some of whatever it was they were singing about.
As time went on and I joined the Jesus club and began to have a relationship with the Lord and learn His word, the Lord was sending people to help me on my journey.
Women who gave me books on marriage, prayer, and took me to the Christian bookstore where I bought my “first adult bible” and proudly had my name imprinted on the cover. (Yes, I had the fish symbol too.) 😉
I didn’t realize it, but God was strategically placing women in my life.
Women that would not hesitate to pray over me in bathrooms stalls, on their living room floors, on the phone, (the first time I heard someone pray over the phone I remember thinking,“You can do this?”).
But the real humdinger was when my friend CJ would be driving down the road, start praying out loud, and with eyes wide open, cast out demons and claim authority in Jesus name.
I wondered as I stared at her, “What have I gotten myself into?”
The point I’m getting at here is these women were making me a disciple. I don’t know if they knew that, or if I knew that, but they were.
They were showing me what it looked like to imperfectly, humbly, and boldly love Jesus.
And I am forever grateful and thank God for each and every one of them. I would not love Jesus today if it weren’t for them taking me by the hand.
Let’s fast forward to now, (seventeen years later). I am in ministry, a writer, and I think I’m maybe suppose to write a book. I’m still not clear about all of that, but there is something I am absolutely clear on:
We are called to make and train disciples.
It isn’t just some sweet advice Jesus gave to us, it was a command. And He’s not impressed with our “callings”, church membership, books, or what scriptures we’ve memorized if we are not making disciples.
He cares if we are taking the time to notice His children, meet in our homes, pray on the phone, and yes, even cast out demons in His name when it calls for it.
We in the Western Church now have some BIG things. Big platforms, BIG ministries, BIG Christian stars.
And I’m not saying those things are not fruitful, (I’ve benefited from them), but we cannot let those big things take precedence over where God works best: behind the scenes, during mundane days, with simple people like you and me gathering in His name.
We are making discipleship way harder and bigger in our minds than it needs to be. We need to get back to the basics of our faith and get back to simply loving on people in Jesus name.
If we want to build God’s kingdom, it’s not going to be done on big stages and with shiny lights.
It’s going to be done with investing in one beautiful soul at a time, looking in their eyes, and sharing our hearts over cold pizza, chips and salsa, and hot coffee. (yes, lots of coffee).
The Great Commission is this: Because you have been with Jesus, go be with people so they can be with Jesus. – Jennie Allen
THAT is what we were all born for.
It’s simply being willing to give our time, share our story, and pour out His love.
And we don’t need to know the bible inside and out or how to pray eloquently, all we need is willing hearts, a little boldness, and a boom box.