My favorite toy when I was a little girl was my blocks. I would set up entire towns in our basement, complete with bridges, schools, and houses. We had no way to get groceries or places to work but sometimes we had castles and imaginary chocolate to eat.
I never put places to work or grocery stores in my town because those weren’t important to me. My world was school and home. And my imaginary world was castles and chocolate.
I never thought to have much else because I didn’t know much else. I never thought to build a church because at that time, I really didn’t know much about church.
The mission of the United Methodist Church is to make disciples for the transformation of the world. Most churches have similar mission statement based on Matthew 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Making disciples sounds like some sort of output from a factory. “What you making there?” “Oh we’re makin disciples today. Model #UMC2015” And if it were that easy, I’d be out of a job.
Making disciples is complicated, messy, interconnected, relational work. It is beautiful, ugly, easy, and hard all at the same time. But its not unlike building my block cities from childhood.
In order to make disciples, you have to be one first. You have to know God and know the church in order to know that it should go in your town (both fake ones and imaginary towns). Otherwise a disciple or church is the same as a made up Dr. Suess term.
Knowing God however is different from studying God. Studying God means I will read the Bible and look through history books. Perhaps take a class. But knowing God comes from being with God. God abides among us and asks us to abide in Him (John 15:4).
I put a school and a house in my block city because I knew those places. I abided in those places. I was comfortable and could be myself most of the time.
Get to know God. Spend time with God. Be in prayer and worship. Read the Bible. Serve others. Stand up for what is right. Then you will know God and God will make disciples through you.
Until Everyone Hears,