The Next Generation

photo-2William Barclay once said, “Every Christian must look on himself as a link between two generations.”  Paul once said to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:2, “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.”  I believe both men were essentially saying the same thing.

As a young missionary, it is a challenge for me to work among men who are twice my age but are spiritual infants. Their wisdom and experience of this world and humanity far exceed mine, but yet I am left with the responsibility of discipling these men. It is a very humbling thought.  What makes it even more complex is that missionaries must search for those who have the ability, as Paul put it, “to teach others”. We have to think two generations ahead, and dream about what it would be like for this new Christian to potentially disciple another.

It has its challenges, but, these past 10 months, I have enjoyed being in a discipleship group with two new members of the church:  Marco and Miguel. When we began in January, I looked for men who had certain qualities, such as maturity, desire, time, and the ability to one day teach others. Fortunately, both have been dedicated and committed to this weekly time we have spent together.

Tomorrow, I will challenge both men to find two other men with whom they can share the next year’s time with. My prayer is that they take the material we use and invest their lives in other disciples. I will continue to work with both Marco and Miguel, but it is exciting to think that each of them will begin their own groups. Tomorrow, I will also formally finish my commitment with them and will begin looking for two others that I can disciple. I have already been talking to one and I have an idea for another.

Overall, our hope is that we not depend on only a program or system to grow disciples. We realize that this is an investment that will require years of working with individuals, one-on-one.  Honestly, I cannot think of a better way to spend my time!

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