Recently, our pastor spoke about the difference between making converts and making disciples. He was a little concerned that our church wasn't doing a great job of getting others to "make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" as Jesus directs in Matthew 28.
My wife and I asked ourselves the same question about the homeless in our ministry. Are they showing the love of God to others after they accept Jesus?
The Lord answered this week.
When a young woman at our church faced a court hearing on a marijuana charge, it looked like nobody would be able to accompany her. But one of the homeless (very familiar with the courts) showed up, saying, "You wouldn’t let us be alone, she shouldn’t be alone.”
A lamb who recently received a donated car decided to give his tithe to Church in the Woods. He is also helping transport other homeless to Bible studies, to church and is helping pick up food for them.
Lambs who once were served meals at outreaches are now serving behind the lines with big smiles for everyone. Another lamb has opened his camp to a friend who lost his job and apartment. Lambs are counseling each other, helping each other with substance abuse issues, encouraging them to get into treatment centers or to seek help from family members. One lamb has been asked by a church to be a greeter for both services. Praise God!
An ex-con lamb has been attending church with Church in the Woods missionaries and lambs called this week also wanting to tithe to Church in the Woods and volunteer with the Sunday ministry of grocery pick-ups and transporting people to and from church. In 2 Corinthians 8, Paul discusses this very thing,
While they were being severely tested by suffering, their overflowing joy, along with their extreme poverty, has made them even more generous. – 2 Cor. 8:2
Is our "real" church making disciples? The jury is still out.
But out in the woods, His spirit is alive and well.
Where disciples are made and who disciples are is not the question. The question is how much do they love? You have brought this point home in your brief, but well written article. I would say your writing reveals your own discipleship and you and your wife are true disciples in your work and your writing. Good article, thanks for sharing your faith.