Do you ever take time to step back and assess your life? Do you ever slow down enough to consider whether the ways you are living are the best ways? Since January 1, have you taken an hour to think through the obstacles and the most effective ways to go about making disciples in 2017? Honestly, I haven’t!
In today’s post, I want to share with you the findings of my own internal wrestling with the obstacles of making disciples in my life. I will also share some simple goals to help jump start the disciple-making process going forward.
When I look at some of the people I want to connect with and the ministries that I want to start or serve in, a huge obstacle to following through is my own current level of busyness. I haven’t grown accustomed to saying “no” to people very often, which has led me to be overstretched and unable to focus on the most important things. I need to build more margin into my life to be available for connecting with people in spontaneous opportunities, as opposed to always seeking slots on my calendar weeks in advance.
Goal: I need to take time in the next two weeks to ask God to direct me to the best uses of my time for the purpose of making disciples. For those things that don’t align with His desires, I need to learn to say “no” more often so I can say “yes” to more strategic opportunities.
If I look with an eternal perspective, I realize I spend far too much time worrying about things that aren’t very important. If I take an assessment of my day, there are many times where I turn off my brain and focus on things that have no real impact on my life or on the lives of others. For instance, taking 30 minutes to look at scores and analysis of last night’s college basketball games on ESPN.com or taking 15 minutes to scroll through the news feed on Facebook.
Goal: I need to consider the many ways I waste time on trivial matters and eliminate those distractions from my life. I need to use that additional 45 minutes or an hour each day for the purpose of connecting with people for the sake of the Gospel.
I like to organize my life in a way that satisfies my desire for comfort and ease. I like to put myself in situations I can handle and avoid those that seem intimidating or difficult. Generally, I tend to pursue opportunities to spend time with like-minded people who affirm my lifestyle and decisions. As a result of this, my opportunities to engage with people who don’t know Jesus—and especially people of other religious commitments—are minimal.
Goal: I need to intentionally put myself into uncomfortable situations for the sake of the Gospel. I need to go to those people who are far from Christ and be willing to endure potential mocking in order to share Christ with them. I need to be open to going to places—like Haiti or Africa or Northland—that will remove some of my normal suburban luxuries so that the glory of God might shine in those places.
We are over a month into 2017, so I challenge you to consider what things get in the way of you being an ambassador for Christ in your workplace, in your neighborhood, in our city, and around the world. What are your disciple-making obstacles? Let us know by leaving a comment.
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