By Not Known
[Excerpted from “Down to Earth Discipling” by Scott Morton]
You possess a powerful resource for ministry. Colin Powell, former US Secretary of State, speaking at a conference in 1999 told his audience who was gathered to help economically deprived young people: “It’s more than just throwing computers at them.” Organizing programmes is not enough. Powell asked people to spend quality time with youngsters – to give them personal attention one by one. The result was that the youngsters appreciated that there were some folk who cared enough to spend their Saturday mornings getting alongside them, listening, sharing their experiences and encouraging them to excel. What is that powerful resource? It is the giving of personal attention. Powell understood that programmes alone would not bring lasting change, but personal attention to people one by one can make the difference of a lifetime.
The Kingdom of God needs more than programmes. We need a massive injection of older believers who are prepared to give PERSONAL ATTENTION to new, young, struggling, growing believers of all ages. Proverbs 27:17 says it well: “As iron sharpens iron, so one man/woman sharpens another.” There must be interaction. Discipler must come into contact with disciplee in order for the sharpening to take place.
Not many have heard of Edward Kimball who was burdened to speak to one of his Sunday School students. The Lord impressed Kimball to find the young man who worked as a shoe store clerk. Having found him, he spoke to the young man about Christ “who loved him and who wanted his love.” Kimball felt it was a weak plea, but the young clerk received Christ that hour. Kimball gave personal attention, he came into contact with him and poured Christ into that young man.
No one remembers Edward Kimball today, but everyone remembers the young shoe store clerk – D. L Moody who preached the Gospel to millions worldwide over the next 45 years. Moody in turn urged his colleagues who staffed the Gospel meetings, to be patient and thorough in dealing with each inquirer. “No hurrying from one to another. Wait patiently and ply them with God’s Word. Don’t begrudge the time spent on one person.”
It has been rightly said that disciples are not mass-produced; they are hewn out (carved out of stone with much effort) one by one. Dawson Trotman, founder of the Navigators put it like this “Where’s your man? Where’s your woman? Where is that one for whom you are pouring out your life to help them walk with Christ?”
If we are prepared to give personal attention as disciplers, ORPC will be transformed into a disciple-making church, which is what Jesus commanded to do in Mt 28:19: “Go and MAKE DISCIPLES….” Will you make the effort?