by Brian Sharpe
For me the beach is a very relaxing place. As a family we were blessed to have someone let us stay at their beach house for a week. We went to the beach every day. Most days we went to the beach several times. While at the beach I love to wade ankle high and just watch the waves come in and go out. I learned a lot during those times over the week.
One of the things learned was discipleship happens when you live life together. My daughters have a lot of personality. They love life. My oldest, Ellice loved getting in the water. Even though the Pacific Ocean is really cold she wanted to play in the waves. I had a choice as a dad. I could have said, “sweetie, it is too cold to go in the water.” She would not have been happy with me, but I would have been justified in saying that. I gave in and let her play in the waves. I taught her the “proper” way to take on the waves. I taught her to jump when the wave was just about to hit her. We would hold hands and go out as deep as she wanted to go and then we would jump over the waves together. It is a memory I am not going to forget. Well, my middle child, Annyah is a little less adventurous than Ellice. She did not want to get too deep into the water, but she wanted to play by the water. Ellice would be out a little bit jumping over waves. Annyah would go a little bit into the water and then run away from what she perceived as a big wave. Well, after a while I noticed that Annyah wasn’t too far from Ellice and she too was jumping over waves. They were having a great time together laughing and jumping over waves.
If disciple-making is about taking what you know and passing it on, then Ellice made a disciple of Annyah. How often do we in in our church try and figure out the best way to make disciples? We plan and we sit and try to come up with the best programs, but what we aren’t doing is living life with people. We need to invite them into our lives, into our families, so that they can learn just by being around us. They can learn just by us walking with them and talking about spiritual things. If we want to make a difference on South Hill, then we need to create space to share Jesus with those in our neighborhoods. We need to do this by living life with them. That can and should lead to spiritual conversations where we can introduce them to Jesus. This starts with us living life together, desiring to make disciples who make disciples.