It seems the whole world has gone “online”!
This social isolation has transformed how we do anything and everything. There are things we never imagined doing online, yet here we are: from church to coffee catch ups, choir practice to playdates, even doctors visits and dinner parties; it seems there is nothing which we can not do remotely. Suddenly, it seems we have found that random people in video form have become fixtures of our everyday life, keeping us fit, keeping us laughing, keeping us thinking.
Like so many churches across the globe, we have taken to streaming services and ramped up social media presence as a way keeping us connected as a community, and keeping our hearts and minds focussed on God. So, in many ways it is business as usual (with an online twist). Yet there are still so many who are outside our church community who are isolated, lost and lonely; so the question arises: can we make disciples in isolation?
Our calling as disciples is to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19-20). Jesus does not qualify this with “just so long as you can get out and about”, so I read this as saying go and make disciples in any context, and at any time. Disciple making is not simply one on one contact imparting knowledge and wisdom; true disciple making should be considered more as life on life sharing of self, a building of God-honouring relationships in order to transform lives with the love and truth of the gospel, and to help them learn how to live this out in their everyday. The early disciples not only heard the teaching, but they saw an example of how what they had heard could be lived out in their context, and it transformed the world! So how can we share a Jesus infused life in our current contexts? Is it possible to do this in isolation? What examples can we draw on? We need look no further than the Bible! The Apostle Paul managed a disciple making relationship with Timothy from the isolation of a first century prison! Paul used what the confines of his context allowed (letters and messengers) to encourage, build up, correct and caution young believers. Paul chose to be a disciple maker despite his circumstances; by sharing life on life he built an enduring relationship, and we are still beneficiaries of his work today. His example shows us that true disciple-making is about relationship - and not even social isolation can stop that!
So, will you choose to be a disciple maker in isolation? Will choose to encourage others to build their life on the rock of Jesus Christ by sharing your life with them? Will you be an example of a Jesus exalting life from the confines of your home? It’s as easy as picking up a pen, picking up the phone, sending an email, or getting on line; let’s all get on board with true disciple making and transform the world one life at a time!
Grace & Peace,
Jen is an energetic and passionate disciple of Christ who loves to share Jesus with anyone who will listen!