There used to be a cute saying: “God couldn’t be everywhere, so He made mothers.” The theology might be better expressed as “God is everywhere, but He works through mothers (and fathers).”
What we refer to as “relational disciple making” is not a program.
There are books about it, just like there are books about parenting– but you don’t become a parent by reading books.
There are materials that might aid you in doing it, just like there are things you might find helpful as a parent–but you aren’t a good parent because you have the right materials.
The core idea is that someone who is immature in their faith, like someone who is immature physically, needs protection and help from someone who has “been there and done that,” and maybe has the scars to prove it.
It is simply one believer saying to another “I will help you if you would like me to…” and another believer saying “maybe I do need some help.”
No program will do that. No program really can. There is no one “right way” to do it.
But, like a loving parent, there is no substitute for it.
God makes disciples, but He works through disciples to make disciples.
Paul describes it in 1 Thessalonians 2:5-8
For we never came with words of flattery, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed—God is witness. Nor did we seek glory from people, whether from you or from others, though we could have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.
Chad Carlson has been working in Africa for five years, partnering with Michael Otieno, who we will be meeting in September. Chad has his own ministry page, entitled “Gospel for Africa.” You can find it here:
And you simply must love his mission statment:
Gospel For Africa is a church-based, non-profit mission that passionately endeavors to make Christ-glorifying, Christ-treasuring disciples in the countries of Kenya and Sudan. Founded by Chad Carlson in 2003.
Pastor Al writes-
There are three types of ministry generally in the church (inwardly to build up one another in Christ). Christ engaged in all three. The third we are calling “Incidental Encouragement and Exhortation.” This one occurs when Saints come together for myriads of reasons, perhaps to share a meal or to help one another. It really doesn’t matter the circumstance, but when we come together, we are to encourage and exhort one another in Christ.
Pastor Al writes- ]
Lord willing, we will begin a series during our Sunday School hour which will address the three types of ministry in the Church. These three were all found in Christ’s ministry and must be found in ours if we are to produce mature disciples. Many churches have two out of the three and this is an issue I believe. Each one is biblical, each one has its own strengths, but by themselves each one is not enough to get the job done. Stay tuned for more on this one.
The highest reason for going is to see God glorified through the preaching of the gospel, seeing God save His people from their sins, and by strengthening His church.
Acts 15:41 He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.
Here is a lovely group of children at Bethesda Baptist Church Nairobi, pastored by Michael Otieno.
What is the goal of ministry to anyone in the church, child or adult? The goal is the same – maturity in Christ – that they believe, think,
1 Corinthians 12: 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” 22 On
Meeting with several disciples of our Lord. Great fun and very profitable :-). Victor will be supporting us while we are in Kenya. Mario and Steve will be going. And Orlando, (far right) is an example of what we will be trying to teach in Kenya – he has been discipled for three years :-).