But there is a madness to our method… because making disciples defies our idea of methodology. For example:
We have a purpose… but we don’t have an agenda.
We have a mandate to point others to Christ. We seek their growth to maturity. Maturity includes the disposition to become disciple-makers themselves.
But making disciples is not boot camp. It’s not one-size-fits-all, break their wills, get them marching in step and responding to voice commands without hesitation.
That’s why when we meet with people, we have no agenda. It’s not simply 10 lessons in 10 weeks and on to the next level. It’s better to be in the moment, listening well, ready to walk through any opening door into a more intimate place… where the Holy Spirit wants to minister deeply and thoroughly.
We are intentional… but we don’t impose.
It’s a hard balance… If Jesus is the greatest thing happening in our lives, how can we not be enthusiastic when we talk about him? The proper balance comes from never disrespecting the personal space of our prospective disciple.
God gave me the space to decide for myself. God gave my friend the space to seek Jesus or not. We dare not invade that sacred space. It doesn’t belong to us.
For those of us who like to use words like “effectual call,” it should be easy to get this. It should be a quiet resting place. We smile inside as we share the Gospel message… we know what the Holy Spirit can do with our words… if and when he chooses.
We love freedom… but we spurn anarchy.
Where the Spirit of God is there is liberty… but there is also no distortion… no dumbing down. If we get too creative with our freedom, we might end up looking like a bad Picasso: lots of bright colors, but what is it? Nor can we afford to let our discipleship slip into little more than a church potluck where we eat, smile and pretend we can hear the person across from us over the din… (sorry for sounding old).
Pulpit has its place… but much of what disciple-making needs is more nuanced… and requires a different setting in order to thrive.
This is where sobremesa (sobre = over; mesa = table) comes in…
Next: When sobremesa trumps pulpit…