Saturday, May 24, 2008

Thinking about discipleship

When I first began my walk with Christ I was fortunate to have a man offer to disciple me. I admired Ken for many reasons at the time (and more today) and he has been there for the major milestones in my walk with God. I can still pick up the phone any day or time and he's there. But there has been some distance (geographical) in the past several years and that has taken a toll on our ability to interact as frequently as I would like.

I was talking to our highschool student pastor (Brian) the other day about discipling and being discipled. Over the past several weeks or even months I've really been desiring for God to build another mentor relationship in my life. There have been several times lately that I'll meet with someone older (both in the faith and in years) for fellowship...I think part of me hoped that each of these "meetings" might be the beginning of a new opportunity to receive some good discipling. But to my surprise, it's been me challenging them.

Now I don't say that to build up my (or anyone else's) image of me. I say that to voice the frustration that I'm feeling. I know, I's a blessing to be able to challenge someone else and see them start to ask questions and dig for themselves. And I'm not trying to discount the value and blessing in that. As I write these thoughts out I wonder if I'm just being selfish. Anyway, during my visit with Brian I got the number for a man named Mark at our church who helps in connecting mentor/mentee relationships. Here's the funny thing. I honestly expected to contact Mark, give him my name and vitals and have him introduce me to someone that I would click he's running some kinda' spiritual EHarmony ministry or something.

Fortunately (and unfortunately) Mark said what I knew to be true from trying to coordinate this in our last church. You simply cannot manufacture true, Spirit ordained mentor relationships. Anticlimactic huh? But he's right and I new that before I ever spoke to him. I'm not really sure what's next. I know all the standard answers, pray, fast, go to church functions and build relationships...I wasn't looking for my friendship with Ken when it began, God just did it.

So I'm not really sure there's a point to this post, other than the fact that I've been thinking about discipleship.



Heather said...

I know we've already talked about this, more than one time, but I have the t-shirt from "disasters resulting from man-made mentoring relationships"! I am so glad that Mark takes the attitude that he does ... that God arranges true discipleship relationships.

I know you have a desire for it and I believe it will happen like you want. Remember your awesome relationship with Ken and how that just happened ... literally JUST happened because it was a such a God-thing.

Continue praying for it - I believe God is already putting the relationship in place. Perhaps this person will so challenge you (in a good way, of course!) in your walk with the Lord that you're not ready for it yet and He's preparing you.

Love you!
~Heather :)

Alan Knox said...


I enjoyed talking with you and Heather about this today. I could sense in you and Heather a deep desire to serve and love God by serving and loving people. I thank God for what he's doing in your lives!


Brandon said...

We enjoyed getting to meet you guys too! Glad to see you got home safely. And don't worry, I won't tell anyone that you guys don't drink coffee! LOL!


Steve Sensenig said...

Alan doesn't really drink coffee? He just plays a coffee-drinker on his blog? How shameful!! hehe

Now, to the point of your post: Maybe the answer isn't in looking for a particular relationship, but just resting in the ones you have and being open to more.

Let me explain... A couple of years ago, I started developing a friendship with a guy. He was on staff of a church, but was asking me questions about our simple church journey.

We began to meet weekly for lunch. He was full of questions every week. And I tried hard to answer his questions and help him think through all the stuff he was wrestling with.

Like what you have described with some others, I felt like I was challenging him, but wasn't really sure how much it was challenging me.

Fast forward more than two years, and we still meet weekly (although now for breakfast). No longer am I the only one answering the questions. Now, he and I think through stuff together, and many times he challenges me.

A little over a year ago, he introduced me to another man, and that guy started joining us for breakfast each week.

And last Friday, this third guy brought a friend of his to the breakfast!

My point? If I had only been looking for a relationship to challenge me, I might have downplayed or overlooked the relationship already brewing, and missed out on the times where I've been really challenged.

But instead, there is a healthy relationship where we both end up discipling each other. It's great!

Bottom line: Let it happen. And take advantage of every relationship that God brings your way, regardless of who seems to be the one challenging, for as long as those relationships stay in your life.

steve :)

Alan Knox said...


Yes, I decided to share a secret with Brandon and Heather: I don't drink coffee. And, it seems that they've announced it to the world!

Seriously, you've offered some great advice. But, if you keep adding friends for breakfast, you'll soon need to choose a pastor and find a church building to meet in.


Brandon said...

Sorry, I didn't know anyone else read this blog. :-) That was a funny resonse to Steve's post! LOL!

I agree and you're correct. I need to be more greatful of the relationships that I do have and the opportunities I have to meet with other believers. I appreciate and receive your advice and direction. Thank you! :)