How do we know that we are making disciples?  What are the activities in the congregation that are producing disciples?  These are questions that I am wrestling with. Making disciples is not a classroom process for intellectual engagement.  I fear that too many of our churches view making disciples in that way.  Making disciples is about lifestyle, world view and realignment of priorities.   Jesus modeled compassion for the left out, the lost and those marginalized.  He walked among the people and actually touched their lives. He taught the disciples from this real life, every day, ordinary encounters with the people.  In the market place, on the streets, on the hillside and in their homes Jesus embraced the people that the pop culture society in the first century rejected.  Our world view must be through the lens of a compassionate Savior and not a market driven economy.  Jesus won people’s heart by relationship not by marketing, telephone trees or email campaigns.  This means spending time in the kitchen over a cup of coffee, sitting in the schools to support the learning process and being in the places where the people workout their ability to live in this world.  I am tempted to spend a night in a shelter and visit
New Orleans for a week.  I am tempted to purchase bears for all of the newborns in our county for a day and then walk the oncology floor to share a moment of hope.  I am tempted to fix hot chocolate in the back of my van and sit at the busiest bus stop in
West Baltimore to give cups to everyone riding the bus during the winter.  My life’s work is about serving on behalf of Jesus Christ. Is this a clergy call or the call of every disciple? 
The disciples realigned their priorities to kingdom building and then their careers.  Many times we see where the two were interwoven.  Why don’t the people who claim to be disciples in the 21st Century realign their priorities to place kingdom building first in their lives.  Is everything else more important?  If so why?  Why aren’t our lives conformed to being disciples if we claim to have finished a disciple making process?  I have not immediate answers but I am searching.

William T Chaney Jr
Pastor
West Baltimore UMC

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