In the past six months, I’ve gone through two rounds of Cityteam’s training in Disciple Making Movements (or DMM, see http://www.cityteam.org/dmm). In a nutshell, the idea is to shift from evangelism (where the goal is “making a decision”), to helping someone start following Jesus daily (a disciple). The new disciple is trained to bring others into that daily obedience to Christ’s leading — all before any “conversion” occurs.
This process is totally dependent on prayer. At the end of the training, our DMM coach encouraged us to raise up our own networks of prayer support. That’s why I write this. If you want to pray, let me know, and I’ll add you to my email list.
In the past six months, I’ve had more spiritual interactions at work than ever before.
- One coworker was stressing out about life decisions. I said the seven powerful words I learned from the Vineyard movement: “Can I pray for you right now?” With my hand on her, I prayed for God’s guidance and provision. She thanked me, with tears on her face.
- Right before Easter, I felt led to clean people’s computer displays as to express God’s love. To anyone who asked, I explained that Jesus washed his disciples’ feet, and this was my simple attempt to do the same. Through this, I discovered that my coworker Bill was seeking God. He knew nothing about the Bible — it was exciting to show him how it’s organized into books, chapters and verses! Early on I told him, “It’s not so much that we read the Bible, more that it reads us.” He continues to tell me this phrase helps him approach the Bible not through the eyes of critical analysis, but through the eyes of personal application. We meet weekly at work.
As I’ve learned to share my own struggles with coworkers — and how through reading the Bible with Bill, God encourages and stretches me — I’m seeing some of them begin to turn, just a bit:
- Darren used to lightly laugh off anything I shared about faith. But with his own work struggles, and my continuing openness about how God meets me in mine, he’s started to talk about the need to “trust in the Man Upstairs,” pointing his finger upwards.
- I felt led to have lunch with Vince. Over our meal, he started to share his work struggles with me, so I encouraged him from the scriptures. (I’m learning to disciple others by treating them as if they were already Christians.) I even told him that we were having lunch because God led me to. He replied, “Whoa! The hairs on my arms are standing up!” We met twice more after that. I won’t meet with him again because he’s transferring to a position in San Francisco, but I briefly showed him how to read the Bible, and encouraged him to do so with his wife. “She won’t believe this is coming from me!” he said.
In our neighborhood
I regularly prayer-walk our neighborhood, looking for opportunities to interact with neighbors. One couple outside of our cul-de-sac, Mike & Theresa, have quite a houseful. Two of their grown children returned out of need, bringing grandkids with them. Mike only goes to church around Christmas & Easter, but has respect for God. He told me once that he wonders how he might get his grandchildren grounded in church.
Within our cul-de-sac, we’ve had a number of new people move in. But by “new,” I mean, “they moved within the past year-and-a-half, but the other neighbors still don’t know them.” So I organized a block party, which he had just last night. We had a great turnout! One neighbor, Susie, went ahead and extended the invitation to Mike & Theresa even though they live outside the cul-de-sac. Little kids ran around playing, while the adults shared stories & laughter. There’s a hunger for connection.
Pray for my outreach at work. In particular,
- That Bill would take over facilitating our little Bible group. He’s been reluctant to do so, but it’s really important that he steps up.
- That Vince would start reading the Bible with his wife.
- That Darren would become aware of his spiritual hunger.
Also pray for our neighborhood:
- That healthy connections would develop in our neighborhood, creating a stronger community. I think Susie will matter in this.
- That I would get better at active listening, drawing out people’s stories — and so identify those whom God is drawing to himself.
- I dream of establishing a Bible discovery group made up of Mike & Theresa’s household. I think the women of the household (wife Theresa & daughter Alicia) are key, so pray for an opening there.
Remember, if you want to receive prayer updates like this, just let me know in the comments below and I’ll add you to my email list. Thanks!