The 2013 Verge Conference was themed around Discipleship, and has given me plenty to think about.
I’ve been convicted about the necessity of being a faithful husband to Olivia, father to my children, elder of The Austin Stone, and missionary in my neighborhood. It’s overwhelming just to list those things out!
The good news of the gospel for me is that Jesus has already accomplished the work of my salvation, and has empowered me with the Word of God and the Spirit. I can be faithful to all of those things through Him.
My first calling, before all those responsibilities, is to be a disciple. Only out of my affection for Christ, study of God’s word, and obedience to His Spirit can I faithfully live out my calling.
But there’s more good news. Jesus also gave me a perfect example. He spent copious amounts of time ministering to both the masses and individuals alike. He pursued His heavenly Father with perfection, and used his public ministry to ensure he faithfully made disciples.
More and more, I need to be held accountable to bringing my wife, my children, and those I am leading into ministry with me. I continue to see in myself the ease with which I get lost in ministry. The crowds crowd out my discipleship of those closest to me.
Don’t let me replace discipleship with ministry – it’s my road to failure.