A year ago, in February, my husband and I moved into our first home: A cute 2-bedroom brick house with lots of yard for mowing and gardening. While we were moving everything into the house I noticed some kids yelling at their dog, Chewy. In a way that calls attention and makes them look cool. Over the next couple of weeks, they periodically came over and chatted while Charles and I worked on the yard. It was a little surreal for me; I had always wished that the neighborhood I grew up in had kids in it. I was so happy to think that when I had kids they would have someone to play with on our street.
Fast forward to September of 2017 when we started giving the neighbor kids rides to youth group at our church. Fast forward again to this past March and now we are driving them to Church on Sundays as well as Youth Group. At times it can be a lot. They come over to the house at random times on Saturdays and Sundays; days where you just want to be alone until 11 AM. I honestly believe they are hungry for good attention and the Lord. I pray that we are planting and watering the seeds in their hearts.
A major part of being a Christian is leading people to Christ. We all dream of praying with a lost soul and seeing them have that moment of peace – then they go home and you pat yourself on the back. But what if there was more to it? What if you saw that person regularly and helped them on their walk?
There is so much more to the verse:
[…] “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Those of you who are familiar with this verse know that it comes right before the parable of the Good Samaritan. One of the most familiar stories in the Bible:
But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him.
Think of the Good Samaritan as an example of how we should be treating the people we are leading to Christ. This man found a stranger who was beaten and near death, yet he didn’t walk by thinking “someone else will take care of it”, he stopped and took the time needed to help another human being.
Isn’t that who we all are without Christ? A broken spirit crying out for help and hoping someone will stop for us? But what happens after we accept Jesus into our hearts? What’s next? We need guidance, community, and accountability. The Samaritan didn’t just leave the beaten man at the inn and say, “good luck”. He paid for the lodgings and assured the innkeeper that he would return. And he did return.
While not everyone can always be a part of the lives of those they have planted seeds in. It’s still something that shouldn’t be over looked. I have somehow found myself being an influence to a 17, 16, 15, and 10-year-old. This scares me little bit. Knowing that I have an influence on their lives. Offering advice and having to provide boundaries.
This is the messy part of ministry. This is the part that they don’t always tell you in Sunday school growing up. They tell you the Lord’s Prayer and John 3:16. But they don’t always tell you how to “disciple” someone or if they did you think “Nah, discipline isn’t my thing I don’t need to listen to this”. But it’s not an option, it’s the great command left to us by Christ himself when He ascended to heaven:
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
I encourage you sisters. Study what it means to be a disciple of Christ. I’ll be doing it right along with you. You never know when a neighbor is going to knock on your door.
Featured image by Allison Mims