Thursday, November 3, 2011

freeing the wings..

Last night our home was filled with young people, music and food until past midnight.  We affectionately gave this time after prayer meeting the title of "the midnight meal"since it will often go until midnight.

Among our guests, we had a few people join us for the first time.  One of our newbies was Gary S. who works with ministries to bridge them together.  Tonight we were talking about the YMCA and reaching it for Christ.  The Rockford YMCA allows anyone to come in its doors.  It really is a good representation of the community of Rockford.  People of all ages, races, economic levels find a home of sorts at the YMCA.

For those of us who know Christ, we are enjoying the Y returning to its roots--a distinctly Christian emphasis.  But we're doing it differently now.  When the Y was first started, it was a place for Christian men to go and escape the temptations of the world.  At a time when there was not a recognized need of what to do with the young people who had left their homes in the country to work in the city, the Y offered a haven of fellowship and protection for these young men.

Today, the Y serves the community--not just Christian men.  Even though our Y has gone through significant changes in the past few months, we are hopeful that these are good changes.  We are hopeful that young people will find their way back to the Y and into a Bible study.  And the churches that are involved will be able to make disciples from those who want to know Christ.

So, with all of this going on, I got to thinking--what is discipleship anyway?

When we take people into our home, feed them a meal, talk to them, and listen to their needs, what are we doing? When we invest in young people in the Y or at Regents or wherever we are--why and what are we doing anyway???

And God gave me this cool thought.

I imagined each person who knows the Lord Jesus as their Lord and Savior (i.e. born again, Christian, a new creation in Christ..) as coming forth from the womb with a set of wings.

The problem is that their wings are firmly attached to their backbone and they new creation really doesn't even know they are there--much less how to use them.

For those of us who disciple others, we place our hand on the shoulder of these creatures and let them know that if they just move a little here and there, they will realize they have a set of wings.

The wings are weak still, and the new creature finds it much easier to walk and strut the wings than to fly with them.

So, the process of discipleship involves freeing the wings.. building up the muscles on the wings.. and teaching them to fly.  Once the creature is flying, it's just a little tweak here and there--getting them to use the map and following the course that God has laid out for them.

I have realized that my ministry is providing the flying creatures a nesting spot and providing wing maintenance.  I love having my home full of flying creatures.  Sometimes I just sit on the sidelines and watch them buzz around together.

And I think this: I have no greater joy than to see my children walking in truth...


MommaMindy said...

For at least 5 years when we lived in Fargo, we had a Thursday night Bible study at the Y. The room is free, they allowed us to set up a literature table, and the staff seemed happy to have something Christian to offer in their weekly activities, since Christian is in their name.

People who might not feel comfortable coming out to a church, feel comfortable at the Y. Other people just walked by and took literature, even though they didn't come it. We loved doing this and miss our Bible study!

Mrs. Parunak said...

What a neat analogy! I love it!

Kathi said...

This is a beautiful and totally new thought to me, Jena. Thanks for thinking it and sharing it. I love the idea of helping free wings!