The Art of Discipleship

Humans are creative.  We like design.  We like to express ourselves.  We like to make cool things.  Just take a stroll around your neighborhood.  Notice the way people decorate their lawns.  Notice the various uses of colors and shapes.  We even try to make our front doors look aesthetically pleasing. Even in a complex of town homes, each tenant has added their own flair somehow.  Why do we do this?  Why do we feel the need to create?
Personally, when it comes to decorating, I could function just fine in a cinder block room.  I have very little desire to “spruce up the place.”  At the same time, in such an environment, I would spend my time reading books and writing songs and be otherwise engaged in creating and enjoying the creations of others.
I believe this incessant drive to create is a direct reflection of the image of God within us.  We are created in the image of our Creator and therefore, we create!   
Certainly, God has gifted each of us with some amount of “natural” talent.  Some develop these talents and hone their skill to the point where they can make a career for themselves.  Others prefer to create as a hobby.  Wherever you might fall on this spectrum, it is important to keep one thing in mind: You are called to create.
I am not saying that painting a picture or carving a sculpture is ministry.  It can be I suppose, but as followers of Jesus, as disciples, we are called to create other disciples!  And just like the world of art, some of us are naturally better at this than others.  Some people are just gifted with the ability to talk to others at the drop of a hat.  They can strike up a conversation anytime, anyplace.  They are not afraid to bring up tough questions and they share openly about their faith.  Like patrons in a museum, we stand agape and marvel at their work.
But admiration of such skill is not enough.  Whether we feel up for this job or not, we are still called to do it!  We are still called to fumble around, to try again, to engage others, to share the hope that we have.  We are all tasked with the same role no matter how naturally skilled we may or may not be. 
In the end, our natural skill set does not matter.  Obedience does.  We are not allowed to cling to our comfort zones and leave the work to those who are “gifted.”  We push ourselves to initiate that conversation, knock on that door, approach that neighbor.  The results of such encounters are up to God and we trust in the Spirit to guide us and provide us with the words to speak in such situations.  It’s up to us to make sure we find ourselves in these situations.
            An artist makes art.
            A writer writes.
            An accountant balances accounts.
            A farmer farms.

            And a disciple makes other disciples.

One thing is for sure: God is NOT calling you to sit comfortably at home.  Let us open our eyes and ears and obey God’s call in our lives.

“The size of the harvest is bigger than you can imagine, but there are few workers.  Therefore, plead with the Lord of the harvest to send out workers for his harvest.”  – Matthew 9:37-38