I want to let you in on a little secret. Actually, all my discipleship secrets.
We have a passion for discipleship. You may not know that about us, and if you do, what you may not know is that we want a big bed and breakfast style home too.
We would fill it full young adult people who wanted to learn and glean more. From myself and my husband and Jesus.
Life skills. Discipleship. Mentoring.
There would be opportunities for intentional and unintentional discipleship. Because if you’re doing life together, both are bound to happen.
I believe you have to provide opportunities for both, because relationship comes before discipleship.
That is a dream we want to make a reality someday.
To disciple people who want to be disciples, and to help people reach their fullest potential in Christ.
To help people become more self aware, while becoming more God aware, allowing them to become more people aware. Becoming more “aware” in these areas allows for you to become less independent and more dependent on God.
Does that sound like something you need?
We have an open door policy but I can’t bring you into my home just yet. We’ve only got a few rooms, and they’re all full.
But if I could sit down and have coffee with you, here is what I would share:
Books and curriculum are great, but they can’t replace your Bible.
To me discipleship isn’t a book study, but books can definitely disciple people. Here are two of my absolute favorites that I highly recommend to people wanting growth.
Becoming More Than A Good Bible Study Girl
This is definitely one of my absolute favorite books. This is actually the only thing I had when I got serious about growing in my relationship with Jesus and who I was as a disciple. I did not have someone to come along side me, but I had this.
And if you happen to be a mom too, this is another book I love!
Brave Mom Brave Kids
This book is amazing! It helps that I also know the author personally, but that isn't why I push this book. This book will help growth not just as a mom, or as a Christian but as a mom AND a Christian together.
Those books are gender specific, but the rest of what I’m about to say isn’t.
Discipleship is not making converts. I would explain it like this, discipleship is helping people in their sanctification process & teaching them how to disciple others. It's a cycle to be repeated.
"A disciple knows who Christ is and makes a decision to follow Him. A disciple is being changed by Christ. A disciple is committed to the mission of Christ."
This description of a disciple comes from my favorite resource for teaching about discipleship: Real-Life Discipleship Training Manual
I also believe it is important to become self aware and here are all the tools I use for that:
Personal Strengths Inventory : www.truity.com/view/tests/strengths-disc
Love Languages : www.5lovelanguages.com/
Spiritual Gifts & Personality Assessment : placeministries.wazala.com/products/place-assessment-tool/
All that being said, I don’t want to be a teacher, I want to be a developer when it comes to discipleship. I don’t want people to be reliant on me, but reliant on Jesus.
Just because I can't have you move on into my dream of a discipleship home doesn't mean you can't use these resources on your own, or with a friend, to grow.
Even if you aren't interested in the resources I have shared, here are some important questions I ask my people, that you can ask yourself:
I ask them often because there is always something new to learn, because you never fully arrive. These questions require you to think a little harder and think a little deeper. Think a little past the words on the pages of that book, or verses in that passage you are studying and think about what God is teaching you.
Now that we have shared our tools with you, we pray it promotes growth for you.
Now that we have also shared our secrets of passions and dreams, you can be in prayer for our family as we pursue what God is asking of us. (Or buy us a bed and breakfast style home so we can make our dreams a reality, either one ;) )
I’ve been a Pastors wife for two years. What some of you may not know is that I was in a ministerial role myself for another two prior to becoming a Pastor's wife. And served in Church leadership roles for years before that.
What you do probably know however, is that often times when you hear the word "Church" you hear the word "hurt."
I’ve been hurt by people. My husband has been hurt by people. People have been hurt by us.
None of which, I can promise you, was on purpose.
I understand your frustrations with the church and maybe even your Pastor, but there is something I have to say;
You have to remember, your Pastor is a person too.
He’s a human. She’s a human. We’re all human.
With being a human, a sinner saved by and redeemed in Christ, means that we will make mistakes, we will fail, and we will be far from perfect.
Now, that doesn’t give anybody a free pass to be and to do as they please, but it gives a pass for grace.
We are quick to offer grace to friends, to coworkers, to the unsaved neighbor, but not our Pastors. Not our church leadership.
They have been given a gifting, personality, skill set, and calling that has led them to the role that they are currently in, but that doesn’t exempt them from making mistakes, asking for forgiveness, or needing grace.
There are some things that happen within the church setting and environment and "in the name of Jesus" that are absolutely unacceptable, but that’s not what I’m talking about here.
Speaking from my ministerial experience, Pastors and Church staff have a passion to serve, but also have a pressure to appear and preform as something they aren’t. A pressure brought on by expectations.
Expectations which, people may not even know that they have, but do. And those expectations have a tendency to hold Pastors and church staff to an unreal level to be something they aren’t.
We think they should be, do, behave, pray, and lead certain ways. All while meeting their job descriptions too. (Yes, they have job descriptions too.)
Jimmy Dodd wrote a book all about this called: Pastors Are People Too: What They Won't Tell You but You Need to Know
and this is what he said about expectations:
"They’re expected to know every member by name, preach a “home run sermon” every Sunday, condemn sin without hurting anyone’s feelings, and be available to serve others 24/7 while not neglecting their own family. The intensity of these expectations and lack of appreciation can and does bring the majority of pastors to a place of despair and ultimately departure from pastoral ministry."
So with that said, I need your help, they need your help. We need to do them a favor:
1) Pray for your church staff and leadership more.
2) If you have been hurt in some way or made unhappy, have a [calm and thought out] conversation with your Pastor so they can know what happened and help you both understand the situation a little more, because chances are they may not even be aware something hurt you.
3) Please offer them a little more grace, they truly need it.
4) Before you react, please remember that your church, church staff, and Pastor are people and they are all humans. Sinners saved by and redeemed in Christ, so somebody, somewhere, someday will make a mistake or two.
5) Remember that spiritual warfare is real. We may forget that it is there, but it is. We have one common enemy in Satan, and he would love nothing more to see the Church be torn apart by expectations, unjustified harbored hurt and pain, and know he can and will use anybody in his path to make it happen.
1 Peter 5:8-9 says: Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. Resist him and be firm in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are being experienced by your fellow believers throughout the world.
6) Remember, you are loved, you are prayed for, and you are appreciated.
I see you. I know you. We are feeling the same. I get it.
You didn’t get that opportunity.
Your husband didn’t get that promotion.
Your prayer hasn’t been answered.
Your pregnancy test was negative.
Your business has slowed down.
You’re still waiting.
Her husband did.
Her’s was positive.
She’s killing the direct sales and business life.
It hurts, I know. You want to be happy for them, but you can’t.
I get it.
In the hurt I catch myself saying ugly things. Condemning them for their achievements. Comparing them to you, and you to them.
Somebody made a mistake
They think they are better than us
They are better than us
We deserve that, they don’t.
Things that are not true. Things that aren’t speaking life to my soul, or theirs.
I’m competing comparing and condemning. I’ve made the easy choice, instead of the right choice.
Friend, those who succeed are not our enemies.
What if we chose to remember that, instead of let the hurt take over? What if we chose to replace the culture of competition and condemnation with a culture of celebration?
There is always something that can and should be celebrated. If we chose to celebrate more, I believe hearts would be healed. Waiting would become easier. Hope would stay intact.
Because replacing a culture of competition with a culture of celebration isn’t for them, it’s for you.
Our social media saturated society has tricked us to believe that it’s a competition. The news is always showing us two (or more) people that are against each other. Words are thrown around like they mean nothing, tearing people down as they fly.
We live in a culture of competition and condemnation.
If culture is the attitudes and behavior characteristic of a particular social group. Then it most certainly can be changed, and it starts with us.
You aren’t in competition with her, or him, or them. Chances are you’re not in the same lane, much less even on the same track. When you think that you are, you’re only hurting yourself.
If we can learn to celebrate friends, both in our real world and social media world, it will become easier to create a culture of celebration in all areas of our lives. And when we do, we will see change.
With your spouse:
If you are creating a culture of celebration within your marriage, you move from speaking (and focusing on) negatives to positives. Your spouse will feel seen, known, loved, and valued.
In your parenting:
If you are creating a culture of celebration in your parenting, you’ll stop comparing your kids and parenting style to the social media standards. Your eyes will be opened to see the specially especially special that is your kiddo.
Whether you’re the boss or just a coworker, creating a culture of celebration will have an impact on the environment. Walls will fall down, people will flourish, relationships & connections can become better than before.
We have to stop just celebrating titles, numbers, and milestones and instead celebrate individuals.
If we stopped having a check list of what we celebrated, and paid more attention to the individuals on our team, we then create a culture of people who work hard because they feel seen and appreciate. Your people thrive where they are and in who they are.
You will thrive where you are and in who you are.
If you want to be part of the change (because it starts with YOU) use this story template for your Instagram or SnapChat to start the celebration on your social media.
I'm a Pastor's wife, and mom of one juggling a couple of side jobs, trying to fiercely chase after my call in ministry.
I'm busy. I feel most days, I’m just trying to make it.
You may not be in my exact situation, but I know you know what that feels like. You've been there. Maybe you're there now.
Regardless, you get me.
But, the Lord is asking something from me, something more than just making it. The Lord is continually putting ideas into my heart and opportunities in my path. Calling me out of my current norm, to something more that my normal “busy”.
It’s something more yet I feel unworthy, inadequate, and that someone else could do a better job than me. What do I even have to offer? I’m already juggling many many things, and it’s not like I’m hearing “great job!” Or “so proud of you!” echoing in my ears about all the things I’m currently doing. How can I do more?
Have you been there? You still get me?
There's a woman in the Bible, in John 4, that I like to think gets me too.
The Lady at the well.
This girl is just trying to get through her daily duties. Just trying to get some water for her family, and the Lord asks her for something. It’s something more than just her daily duties.
He just wants some water from her. Water. Jesus is asking her for a drink of water. Something that seems so simple, and yet here is her response:
"How is it that You a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?" (John 4:9 emphasis added)
Yes, I know there is more to the story than that, but we are just going to park right here.
All Jesus asked for was water, and she didn't even feel worthy enough to give him water.
She, standing at the edge of the well, drawing her water. She is capable, but doesn’t feel worthy.
She was a Samaritan, and on top of that a woman. She also knew that Jews and Samaritans really weren't the best of friends, so the current circumstances weren't looking so great for her.
So what did she have to offer? She had labeled herself, declared herself unworthy, and let her circumstances determine her truth.
Like me, wondering why I keep putting myself out there. Struggling with the feeling of not being supported or encouraged. Sharing my heart, feeling that I'm not even worthy of this, what do I have to offer? What can I do that someone else can’t do better?
Like you. Wondering how you could possibly add one more thing to your already busy day.
And friend, you can be busy but be busy without purpose. The Lord is calling you to be busy for His purpose.
Whether it be big or small, The Lord is asking something of you.
What is it?
Maybe you don't need to think too deeply to know what that is. Maybe you've known for a while what you need to say yes to. What's holding you back? Labels like The Lady at the well? Self-Doubt negative self-talk like me? Fear, comparison, Current circumstances?
Fear, compassion, self-doubt, negative self-talk, labels? Those are not your truth. Circumstances are not your truth.
The Bible is your truth. The scriptures says you are called, you are loved, you have something to offer. That is the truth.
Take a chance on yourself.
God can and will do anything He pleases, BUT when we align with Him, for Him and obey Him, we give Him the fertile soil to do much much more.
Replace your fake truths with the real truth. Say yes to what The Lord is asking of you.
The past few days I've been having the same sort of conversation over and over again with different women in my life. Each one pointing back to the same thing - boundaries.
Regardless if you’re just starting out or been at it for a while. Running a ministry or a business or keeping little humans alive and well; boundaries are quintessential to be successful and to be healthy spiritually, mentally, and emotionally.
If you’re not careful lines can easily become blurred, and before you know it your work life has overrun your home life, or your to do list has become your identity. Husbands take a back seat, kids’ events are often missed, housework falls by the wayside, and your only community becomes the people you interact with when you’re working.
If you don’t keep your hustle holy, you’ll tire out before you go very far.
Whatever you’re doing, however you are doing it. It’s so easy to get caught up with what we are doing, that we forget why we are doing it. Lists grow, tasks pile up, distractions happen. Don’t let your to do list distract you from your mission. The Lord has gifted you with a special skill set to live out your calling, remember to keep Him an ever-present part of everything you do. When you try to do things out of your own power, or your own will, you’re more likely to tire out or become easily frustrated before you accomplish much.
Think of your life as a bicycle tire. If your tire isn’t balanced properly, it won’t roll smoothly, and the ride becomes rough and unenjoyable.
If your life isn’t balanced properly, it won’t roll smoothly. What once brought you joy, will drain you.
Social media knows no boundaries, so you have to intentionally set them yourself.
Businesses, shops, and even customer service centers have operating hours; so should your social media and email accounts. If you can’t handle seeing a notification and not responding immediately, turn the notifications off.
Social media is a tool, but it can easily become a trap. We go from glorifying The Lord to glorifying likes and comments on or social media posts. You have to remember, and remind yourself often, your online presence doesn’t define who you are or your worth.
For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galations 1:10
You may be in a season where you can’t get out and build new relationships, but you can focus on the ones you do have. Be intentional with your spouse, family, and friends that surround you. If you’re schedule oriented, schedule time in for those you love. Your community should breathe life into you, encourage you, and remind you who you are and Whose you are. Real authentic relationships matter.
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:24-25
Don’t forget who YOU are.
You may the proud owner of many titles, but you are more than a title.
At the end of the day, who are you? What do you want to be known for? You are more than your business and work titles. You are more than your family titles. You are a Daughter of the King Jesus. You are forgiven, love, gifted and ordained to complete a plan set out intentionally just for you.
Don’t get so caught up in your titles and to do lists, that you forget about You. Make time to do things that you enjoy and bring you life. If you are filling yourself, your overflow will be all the sweeter.
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27
I will praise You because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made.[c][d]
Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well. Psalm 139:14
Rest in Him. Give yourself Grace, and know each day is a new chance to try again.