discipleship personal

Being a Disciple

The 2013 Verge Conference was themed around Discipleship, and has given me plenty to think about.

As my family has grown and our church has continued to grow, my time is increasingly spoken for. It seems like there is always a person or a task that needs immediate attention.

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.

By Todd Engstrom

Although I was raised in the church and had a knowledge of God, I didn’t embrace Jesus until I heard gospel preached and lived out by some Young Life leaders. God has proven faithful and good to me since that day, even in great suffering and loss. I have learned to treasure Romans 8:28 as a wellspring of hope and truth.

God has blessed me with an amazing wife (Olivia), three sons (Micah, Hudson and Owen) and a daughter (Emmaline). Growing up in the northwest, the thought never crossed my mind that I would have four children who are native Texans. Despite landing in the south, I still watch Notre Dame games with my children every Saturday in hopes they will land at my alma mater.

One reply on “Being a Disciple”

I agree with all of this and hope you hold these words in your heart as you move forward in this world! I love you Todd and pray you grow into what God has designed for only you, gracefully and obediently, remembering the whole picture.

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