“….go and make disciples………” Matthew 28:19

Did you catch that?  Read it again.  Don’t miss it!!

It’s a command.  There is no “if you feel called” or “if you don’t mind.”  It is simply put as “go and….”   Jesus had gone through the most horrific death imaginable.  After coming out of the grave of death, He walked among His followers for another 40 days before returning to His Father in heaven.  And He didn’t miss the opportunity to give one last instruction to His followers.  “Go.  Everything you learned from Me you should be able to now duplicate in the lives of others.”  A body of believers that is not actively mentoring is not taking serious these particular words from Christ, or doesn’t have a full understanding of the importance.

Mentoring is duplication.  It’s an art that is learned at the feet of someone else. Duplication is the reflection of an original.  It takes effort.  It is intentional.  Jesus intentionally choose His disciples and ‘did life’ with them daily.  He intentionally walked out of His way to meet the woman at the well.  There was intentional purpose in His going to see Lazarus after the burial. There was intent on choosing Judas to live among them.  Every intentional action had been previously thought out and planned.

Mentoring is intentional.  I recall a time when I was being asked to oversee a ministry. It was an area of ministry new to me so I had questions.  As I sought out details of my responsibilities I asked, “Who am I accountable to?  Who will be checking on me to make sure I’m staying on track and doing well in my own spiritual walk?”  The answer surprised me.  I was given a name and told, “If you need anything, this is who you can contact.”

If I need anything?  Here I am possibly about to say yes to one area of ministry that I was not trained in.  An area where I would be pouring into the lives of others weekly.  No doubt there would be things I would need.  But the answer left me with a feeling of being pushed aside.  The feeling of ‘if this area is covered, we are happy.’  Truth was they didn’t see me as someone who needed mentoring.  They trusted me.  But it left me thinking of all the ones who did need mentoring.  What if they were put in this same position?  What would happen to who they were to be ministering to?  Truth was, like anyone else, I am human with faults and need to be held accountable.  And in this case, I had just gone through some tough times myself and needed to know I was cared about as a person.  Not for my gifts and abilities, but for who I am every day as a person.  I needed someone to intentionally ask me how I was doing.

It’s ingrained in all of us.  That need to know someone cares.  You know, REALLY cares for you as a person. Not your gifts or talents.  But you.  Individually.  We all need accountability.  We also need the friend who will intentionally put aside time to talk with us.  That one who has walked the road already and is willing to mentor us in our new season until we are ready to intentionally mentor someone else who will come after us.

Intentional duplication.  If we care for others, intentional acts will follow.  Not the stopping to say ‘hi’ just when we see each other.  It’s the spur of the moment, ‘I was thinking of you…..let’s do coffee’ type of intentional.

The flower and note left on a friend’s desk.

Picking up the paper of our elderly neighbor.

Taking a meal to a family.

Seeking out someone just to say ‘hi’ and let them know you are thankful for them.

It’s all intentional.  And it matters.  Christ did it.  We all want it.

Let’s start a movement of mentoring…….INTENTIONALLY!




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All For One

haiti 2

Have you ever been in a situation where you kept asking yourself, “Why am I here?”  I have.  Often.  In fact, many times during this last season of life.  The elephant in the room of my life recently has been, “God, this is not what I am called to do.  My heart is to be ministering and teaching Your word, not being in the marketplace.”  The struggle has been real.  Until the day a co-worker asked for counseling.  Then came that still small voice.

“It’s all for one.”

All for one!  It is a simple concept we all know.  My boys learned it early from watching The Three Musketeers.  And we teach about it in the church.  We remind each other that wherever we are in life, we are to look for that ‘one’ He might be wanting us to reach out to and help.  Yet, the struggle to see it often is difficult when we seem to hit a wall  day after day and our hearts are longing for something else.  But we have the greatest example of Someone who left everything He had done since time began and reached out to the one human race.  And He would have done it for even just one individual.  John 4 tells of a time Christ visited a town just for one woman.

History tells of a people group called ‘Samaritans’.   They were a ‘mixed breed’ of people that were a result of Babylon conquering Judah.  The king of Assyria  took most of the people back to the Babylonian Empire.  Those who were left behind intermarried with non-Jewish people that migrated into the region.  In time, this interracial group became known as Samaritans.  They had their own way of life and worship.  By the time of Jesus, most Jews despised the Samaritans even more than they did the Gentiles.  Why?  Partly because they were seen as ‘half-breeds’ in both their culture and faith.

If one was to travel from Jerusalem to Galilee, the shortest route was through Samaria.  Yet many Jews of that day avoided Samaria and took a longer route.  Their reasoning was to not be in contact with those who they considered no better than a dog.

But not Jesus!  John 4:4 says He NEEDED to go through Samaria.  Why?  For one.  One woman.  One testimony.  One domino effect on a city.  Several aspects of this story stands out.  His actions did not fit that which society deemed proper for a godly rabbi. It was about noon and the women usually went tin groups to draw water earlier in the morning.  But He knew there was one woman who was perhaps rejected by others and would go to the well alone later in the day.  So He sat and waited for her.  Rabbi’s did not speak to women in public.  Neither did the men ask to drink from a woman’s cup.  But Christ spoke to her and asked for a drink.  Why did He do all of this?  He was goal oriented on reaching that one!  The result: she ran into town and brought others back to hear what this Teacher had to say.  The domino effect.

As He started reminding me of the ‘all for one’ mentality, I started looking back on the last ten years of my life.  Our family and ministry has gone through many unexpected twists and turns.  They have not always been fun or easy.  And I have heard myself so often cry out, “God, really?!  Why are we here?!”  Yet looking back, I see the ‘ones’ that are now walking in freedom, called to minister, healed, redeemed, and much more.

Why move us to Missouri?  For the young adult who was starting down a wrong path but is now preaching the Word to young people.  The young woman who visited on a Sunday, accepted Christ, and was killed in a car accident the following week.  The worship leader who was set free from generational curses and is operating now in spiritual gifts she had never known before.  The high school students from broken homes that showed up at our dinner table weekly and experienced a functional family unit.

And each of these are now having a domino effect in their world.

Why the move back to Louisiana?  To be at my mom’s side the last few months of her life.  To see young adults walk away from a life of drugs and are now preaching.  For those who left promiscuous lifestyles and now teach faith and purity to others.  And for the one who rescued from suicide that now travels the world sharing the gospel.

Our society often judges a person’s success in ministry the way the world sees success in business.  For instance, if you have a large congregation or a large ministry, you must be more anointed and successful than that one who has a small group or is in a small community.  Yet the realization I have come experience is that Jesus, in His great love for even ‘the one’, will allow the paths of our lives to take unexpected turns for that ‘one’.  Christ is more interested in us allowing our lives to be turned upside down for just one then He is in how success we appear to be in the eyes of other.  That one may even have a domino effect and in time represent masses of people scattered from location to location.  Are we willing to follow an ever turning path?  Can we see the bigger picture?

Recently, while honoring the life of Billy Graham, we have seen clips of the thousands of people who attended his crusades.  But how many of us remember the name of the minister who’s message changed Billy’s life?  That man’s ministry had a domino effect to millions.  Those of us on earth may not know his name, but our Heavenly Father does.  And He counts the domino effect for eternity.

What about you?  Who is the one in your life that He placed for you to reach?  Are you willing to have your entire life unexpectnantly turned upside down, your ministry put on a shelf for a while, as you are sent to the marketplace and your dreams seems to be lost without hope of returning, all for reaching one?  Are you looking to be a Billy Graham, or are you willing to have your life take unexpected turns to reach the Billy Graham’s around you?

To paraphrase a verse from scripture, I challenge each of us today:  Test Him. See that there is no greater love, or joy, than to lay your life, your dreams, your hopes, your home down for reaching even one person today!  (My version of John 15:13)  There may be pain and disappointment at times along the way, but one day you will see the results domino in your life!

“By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us.  And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”  1 John 3:16



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