Partners for Making Disciples, April 2012
My relationship with Lee Grady brings great joy to me. Lee's life and ministry express what Jesus wanted us to catch from Him when He spent three years making disciples.
Jesus made it clear that after making the decision to
"love God with all your heart...and love your neighbor
as yourself" (Matthew 22: 38-39), nothing has more relational influence or eternal value than "[making]
disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:19).
For Lee and me it all began when Lee joined a 10th grade guy's discipleship group that I led. That relationship has continued and deepened through the years (college, wedding, ordination...) and has culminated the last two years in the privilege of speaking at his Bold Venture Conferences on disciple-making.
|Lee's own words tell the disciple-making story:
The Lord met us at the Bold Venture Conference in Dalton, Georgia and poured out His Spirit on us. We had about 130 men for three days... The Lord knit our hearts and challenged us to invest in others through relational discipleship.
...Here is my mentor Barry St. Clair speaking on the first night of Bold Venture. Barry discipled me when I was a teenager, and he has mentored hundreds of Christian leaders. He gave us practical advice on how to
disciple the guys around us.
...Relational discipleship has become a core value for me in my ministry. I know the most effective way for me to impact the world is not by speaking to large crowds (even though I will do that often) but by investing in leaders one-on-one and in small groups... It is how I want to develop The Mordecai Project's influence around the world. I am investing in leaders ... In a few short years the impact of this ministry can grow exponentially if I mentor as many leaders as possible.
...You can see this principle at work in the above photo. Some of these young men are Brazilian immigrants from Orlando, Florida. Two of them, Felipe and Arthur, came to Bold Venture in 2010. Last year, they began discipling some of their friends. This year they brought seven Brazilians to our event. And now one of them, Pedro, has started discipling some teenage boys. This is what Paul meant when he told Timothy: "The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also" (2 Tim. 2:2).
Felipe and Arthur, with their band of disciples, hovered around Lee and me after my message on "The Lost Art of Disciple-Making." The two of them told me how they caught the disciple-making vision when I spoke last year and how they used Reach Out's Moving Toward Maturity books to disciple these guys. Now all of them are making disciples of other young Brazilians. From me to Lee to Felipe/Arthur and to 100s of young men who disciple others.
Great joy has come to me from that small disciple-making investment I made in Lee when he was in high school and which now extends to hundreds of men and women in places like Uganda, India, Guatemala and many other countries.
Amazingly that same joy can belong to each of us when we let Jesus use us to make disciples like He did!
Thank you for investing in us as we give that same challenge around the world. Pray that the
Lord will raise up thousands of Lee Gradys as a result!
Click to subscribe to Lee's "Fire in My Bones."