If You’re Not Making Disciples Locally, Why Would You Globally?

“Aviation does not create transformation.”
David Platt

 

I just finished watching David Platt’s Q&A session via Twitter (available here) about the direction of the International Mission Board (IMB), in which he noted that if you’re not making disciples where you already live, work and recreate, it’s not likely that you’ll begin making disciples once you arrive somewhere overseas.

This needs to be said, maybe to others, but certainly to me.  I have a newly developed passion for the Great Commission, largely because of what I hear Jesus Christ saying through the intense teachings & writings of David Platt, but I’m conflicted because I feel like there’s an epic story waiting to be written, if only I could break away from my mediocre life.

And while there might be some truth to that, the unfortunate way in which I typically express that frustration is toward my wife.  I sometimes, unintentionally, find myself thinking of our relationship as an obstacle to my ability to learn new languages, boldly travel to dangerous places, and powerfully share the gospel where few others would dare.  Added to our relationship, now we also have a newborn daughter whose smile I could not love more and whose laugh absolutely intoxicates me.

The simple truth is this:  I use my family, and especially my marriage, as an excuse not to make disciples, either within my family or outside of our home.  I complain about having to juggle so many responsibilities when I’m really not responsible for much more than my family.  I’m regularly stressed out, but not because I have much to be stressed about.  I’m just high-strung.  And I probably wouldn’t be making a ton of disciples in the Middle East if I were there right now, because I’d probably find other excuses to get by on.

To be clear, I do not believe that discipleship ought be confined to my family.  They are, to me, certainly of higher priority than the world, but my ability to influence others for the the sake of Christ should not be confined to my home.   I can affect my neighbors, my local church, guys at the gym, and so on.  I can figure out a way to engage with those younger guys at Sonic that I chose to ignore earlier tonight (they just seemed annoying), and I can operate as one who was sent here, rather than as one who is restrained here.

Lord:
I’m sorry I’ve complained so much.  Please remind me that I am sent here.  That I am on mission, within my family, with the people I interact with at work, and on my “off” days.  Please help me see through my own BS, that I might know the satisfaction available to me in allowing your desires to be my desires.

It is done.

Why I’m Afraid to Write

I can’t count how many times ‘Write a Blog Post’ has popped up as a notification on my phone.  I’ve successfully avoided it time and time again, opting instead to do other “good” things that I can justify and feel okay about–but that do not challenge me in the way writing does.

I am afraid to write because written word seems so much more permanent than spoken word.  In a spoken conversation, my expressions are momentary, and if you disagree with me I can usually clarify on the move so as to make myself feel better about my stance.  But here, it’s just out there.  And internally, I deal with questions like:

You sure you want to say that?  Y’know, somebody could bring this up later and hold you accountable to this?  And you’re pretty young to be writing.  You sure you’ve got life figured out enough by now to start writing?  Tim Keller and John Piper would probably get a good chuckle seeing this naive attempt to make a point.  ‘Nice try, kid.’

Writing intimidates me.  I’m not sure I feel qualified to have a written opinion.  I’ve changed the title/tagline of this blog more times than I can remember.  I worry that I’ll someday run for a high-profile political office or position in vocational ministry and be presented with a question regarding a blog post I made when I was struggling to make a point on the internet.

Insecurities suck.

That’s all.