Continuing our series on Church Clichés we come to a big one that I, being a layperson or pastor am too busy for disciplemaking.
Link to Podcast episode: https://castbox.fm/episode/Cliché-Four:-Too-Busy-for-Disciplemaking-id2800003-id262273591?utm_source=edm
Why is this Cliché so bad?
This cliché is common, and it acts as a defeater to ever getting the disciplemaking life started. We say we have too much too do and too little time to ever disciple a person, to ever have a worked outgrowth plan and so we never even consider taking a first step toward discipleship.
What is the real problem?
Now this for this cliché we took a different approach, rather than logically and Biblically defending the right answer we wanted to just give the solution and some examples. The reason for that is that no one really questions the Biblical answer at this point! The very fact that we are saying we are too busy shows that we know there is something we should be doing but aren’t. We know Jesus calls us to a commitment to Him but we feel that it is unrealistic or that it is simply beyond us because we have too filled our life.
Charles Hummel writes about the real problem in his small booklet on the The Tyranny of the Urgent:
When we stop long enough to think about it, we realize that our dilemma goes deeper than shortage of time; it is basically a problem of priorities. Hard work doesn’t hurt us. We all know what it is to go full speed for long hours, totally involved in an important task. The resulting weariness is matched by a sense of achievement and joy. Not hard work, but doubt and misgiving produce anxiety as we review a month or a year and become oppressed by the pile of unfinished tasks. We sense uneasily our failure to do what was really important. The winds of other people’s demands, and our own inner compulsions, have driven us onto a reef of frustration. We confess, quite apart from our sins, “We have done those things which we ought not to have done, and we have left undone those things which we ought to have done.”
The problem Hummel says is not that we don’t have enough time but that we do not prioritize the right things. We often spend our days focused on what is in our face and urgent but not the things that are important. Would recommend you google Tyranny of the Urgent read through this booklet and do an assessment of your own time. Break down the time you spend each day of the week hour by hour and ask yourself how much of what you are doing is urgent and how much is truly important, the answer may shock you. Another great thing this often does is show us we do have free time despite how we initially feel, that can be allocated to pursuing God.
Examples of Prioritizing Discipleship
- My wife Anne while in a busy Chinese school.
When Anne became a Christian in China she was right in the middle of the intense learning environment that China is known for. However, in spite of her business in studies she had a passion for learning more about who God is. What really helped her is that an older couple who really loved God came alongside her and a group of others in college. She saw a dedication in their lives, they would selflessly travel miles and miles to see different groups of Christians, they made time to visit the students parents and relatives and took a personal interest in raising them up to know Jesus. They often slept on train seats in order to make the most efficient use of their time and took and often were serving rather than being served at every destination they went to. This couple created an environment where thriving for Christ made sense and despite its reality the busyness of school did not rear its ugly head as a problem.
- Me in College
After coming to Christ, I was accepted into a program to go from being enlisted to an officer in the Navy. Amazingly despite having a 2.3 GPA in high school and not caring about my studies at the time I was now challenged with Engineering level Calculous and Physical. This really tested my mind and with the ROTC kept me constantly at work trying to catch up on the math i had missed from not paying attention in High School. Despite this College was the most fruitful time of my life for learning to share my faith with others. Two men came alongside me and answered some simple questions, like how do you contact a friend to share faith with them? How do you even start that kind of conversation? They helped me learn to simply ask people about their spiritual journey and to be upfront and ask permission when sharing about Jesus. These seemingly simple tips opened a world of regularly sharing my faith with others within that busy environment.
- Navy SWO life etc.
Being a Surface Warfare Officer is one of the busiest jobs in the Navy. A lot is asked of you and your time is constantly tasked with difficult things like qualifying to drive the ship to taking care of a division in charge of a crucial role in the ships operation to just figuring out how to lead. In spite of this I took time to spend time with the Lord each day and was able to walk with a couple other through some basics of the faith taking a personal role in helping them move forward in their faith.
Finally, just want to say it is possible to be faithful in discipleship in your situation! God is faithful and able to equip you to live out His mission despite your busy life (2 Peter 1:3-4).