Life Together: A Note from the Interim General Secretary
I consider myself to be a disciple, a follower, an apprentice of Jesus Christ. But how did I learn what that means? Who taught me—or, better yet, who showed me—what the life of a disciple looks like?
The easy answer is that I learned it in Sunday school classes as a child and in seminary as a young adult and in small group settings and Bible studies and seminars and pastor networks over the years. And that would be accurate. Yet it’s only part of the answer.
Mostly, I learned to be a disciple along the way of life.
I learned it by watching my parents, who took time to read the Bible and pray every day, no matter how busy we were, and who were in worship twice every Sunday because they wanted to be there, and who had the tithe envelope filled in and on the kitchen table Saturday night, and who wrote letters to missionaries, and who quietly saw that the widows in our church got produce from our garden, and who handled setbacks in life with deep faith that God could still be trusted, and whose faith influenced every aspect of daily life.
I learned it from senior saints in the church I served as they shared the crucial crossroads in their faith journeys. I learned it from those who gave up on God only to discover he had not given up on them. I learned it from colleagues as we encouraged each other and held each other accountable. I learned it from those who offered forgiveness to abusers who had not admitted to their wrongs. I learned it from children whose joy at being in “Jesus’s playroom” (the nursery) was contagious. I learned it in conversations with atheists whose questions were honest and well thought out. I learned it visiting in hospitals and prisons and funeral homes.
A disciple is one who is learning to live and love like Jesus, in community with others, in all of the everyday joys and tragedies of life. The textbook is the Bible, the classroom is life, the teacher is the Holy Spirit, and I’m still learning. I trust you are also, and I pray we both are providing a model for others.
In his service,