G. K. Chesterton says, “If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly.” A number of years ago, a church consultant concluded that Blanchard needed to raise its failure rate. I think that I’m doing a good job in that. What things are so worth doing, they are worth doing badly? Disciple-making, like parenting, is a work of such great worth that it is worth doing, even badly.
Parenting is inherently messy. You never feel like you do it exactly right. Children are born with pain and blood, and pain and blood simply seem to follow us all along the way. Sleepless nights, dirty diapers, and spit up leave parents physically exhausted. As children grow up, their physical toll decreases even as their emotional (and financial[!]) demands increase. The only people who have all the answers to raising children either don’t have them or have forgotten how hard it was to raise them. When you are in the mess of raising children, you need good coffee more than good advice. But the miracle is that even as we stumble along in parenting, these crawling, talking, pooping little people in our home actually keep growing. We must simply keep loving, praying, feeding, cajoling, hoping and building into these little people. And, in time, miracle of miracles, they grow. And, Lord willing, they can make at least some contribution in the world around us.
Like growing children, making disciples is a painfully messy process. I have never been in a relationship where every (or any!) meeting went according to plan. I always had a plan, but I rarely got to execute that plan. I have walked with sinning, deceiving, disappointing, doubting and struggling people. Yet the important thing is that people still grow. We struggle to keep loving, praying, encouraging, hoping and building them up. And they grow. Miracle of miracles, they actually have meaningful insights. They develop a burden for other people. They love. They pray.
Wellspring, my invitation today is very simple. Make disciples. You don’t have to do it perfectly; you don’t even have to do it adequately. Just do it. Whatever you have learned from God and his Word, share it with others. Share a story of what God has done in you with another person. Step into the life of a person who is lonely, lost or looking for something more, and be a listening ear and a conduit of his love. “Walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Eph 5:2).