“Wherever you go…”
As a pastor’s wife, my primary ministry isn’t always inside the walls of the church. My primary ministry is inside the walls of my home, around the cul-de-sac, and at the grocery store. As a stay-at-home mom, those are the places I find myself regularly.
Matthew 28:18 reads, “…Go and make disciples of all nations…” Another translation reads, “wherever you go…make disciples of all nations.” In other words, making disciples should be the priority wherever we go, not just within the walls of the church building. Wherever we go, we are called…no…we are commanded to make disciples.
I’m good at talking to church people about Jesus. But the cashier at the grocery store, or my neighbor next door? For a long time, I didn’t know how to have that conversation. I began to pray for God to provide the opportunities wherever I was.
I started at home with my 2-year-old daughter. We started memorizing a Scripture verse each week together. The enemy doesn’t wait to infiltrate our kids minds with lies, so why do we wait to fill their minds with the truth of God’s Word? Right now, she may not fully understand what she is memorizing, but the power of God’s Word isn’t limited to our understanding of it.
God began to make me sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit through time spent with Him. I obeyed many times through trembling hands and a shaky voice.
We see the same employees each week on our weekly grocery hauls to Aldi. I felt the Holy Spirit leading me to get to know them, so I simply asked them their names. My daughter, with her incredible memory, would recognize them and strike up conversations. At bedtime, she’d pray for each of the employees by name, totally unprompted. We have had multiple opportunities to pray for and with those Aldi employees.
I prayed for God to use me in my neighborhood. My husband and I pulled our daughter in the wagon as we hand-delivered homemade cookies and hand-written notes to our neighbors. We found out all our neighbors love cookies (who doesn’t?!). Most were not originally from the United States, and English was their second language, and almost all were unchurched. What an opportunity!
Later, God told me to buy a picnic table and put it in my front yard. Lord, are you serious? So, we did. Gradually, our neighbors’ kids joined us for some weekly crafts and nature scavenger hunts. Eventually, parents came over to talk while their children played. Now, it’s not uncommon for us to come home to neighbors gathered in our yard without us even being there.
After inviting a neighbor and her daughter over for a playdate, she and her family have been attending our church. She comes over regularly so our girls can play together, and she and I can walk through Scripture together.
Making disciples is not always easy but it’s quite simple. God opens the doors and softens the hearts. He asks us to obey, that’s it. He painted a beautiful story of discipleship where I was.
May I encourage you, sister? Your life is your ministry, wherever you go. But we can only make disciples when we are disciples. Abide in Jesus daily, in His Word, and in prayer. John 15:5 says “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”