Living in the Quiet: A Vision for Everyday Disciples

by Bill Mowry (alongsider.com) Death can be God’s classroom for learning.  When my mother passed away a decade ago, one verse lingered in my mind. It’s a little obscure passage in 1 Thessalonians 4:11: “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and to work with your hands . . . so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders” (NIV). What was God’s lesson for me? My parents “lived in the quiet” literally “working with their hands.” My dad was a butcher and my mom worked in the school cafeteria. They were not prominent people in… Read moreLiving in the Quiet: A Vision for Everyday Disciples

OOPS! Five Disciplemaking Missteps

By Bill Mowry I’m going to let you in on a little secret. You know those missionary letters and updates you receive from people like me? We follow a simple formula describing a dramatic ministry success story that encourages you to keep praying and giving.  While it’s important to celebrate God’s successes we seldom talk about our missteps or failures, our OOPS. After all, who wants to give to a ministry that broadcasts failures. Fifty years of experience has taught me that failures lead to wisdom. In fact, people enjoy reading about ministry missteps because that’s often the reality of… Read moreOOPS! Five Disciplemaking Missteps

Disciples for what?

by Bill Mowry (alongsider.com) Have you heard the story about the boy in the Sunday School kindergarten class? When the teacher held up a picture of a squirrel and asked the class what it was, the boy answered, “I think it’s a squirrel but I’m going to say Jesus!” It’s easy to give the “Jesus” or spiritual answer to the question, “Disciples for what?” The “right” answer is “for the glory of God.” Who would dispute that? Another answer is the slogan “disciples make disciples who make disciples.” This sounds good but it turns the Great Commission into an assembly… Read moreDisciples for what?

Intensive Care Disciplemaking

by Cedric Brown A few years ago, elevated blood pressure, decreased kidney function, increased liver enzymes, and other complications following surgery signaled to the medical team that my body was in crisis. I needed special medical care . . . immediately. The medical team would be supplying intensive care until my body could function independently. They were committed to nurturing me back to health and wholeness even though it meant I was spending more days in the ICU than I desired. My body’s need for intensive care following surgery is not unlike the intensive spiritual care that a disciple may… Read moreIntensive Care Disciplemaking

Let’s Not Complicate Things

Disciplemaking is as simple as a walk by Bill Mowry I quickly saw the clutter of books and videos when I walked into Justin’s office. His office was taken over by this stack of resources. What was the subject matter?  The piles of books and videos were about discipleship. Justin was searching for the holy grail of disciplemaking — the perfect program that guaranteed results. Unfortunately, the abundance of choices created confusion. Shouldn’t disciplemaking be simpler than amassing a library of resources? Let’s not complicate things! When it comes to making disciples, we’ve missed the wisdom of Leonard da Vinci,… Read moreLet’s Not Complicate Things

Disciplemaking is like joining the Starship Enterprise

by Bill Mowry (alongsider.com) I’m a delayed Trekkie fan. I missed all the hype with the original Star Trek series but became a fan of The Next Generation. The captain’s voice-over opening to each show makes me sit up straight in my recliner (my command chair!). Space, the final frontier. These are the voyages of the Starship Enterprise, it’s five year mission to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no one has gone before! What a clear and simple mission statement. You can’t miss the purpose of this crew of… Read moreDisciplemaking is like joining the Starship Enterprise

Pandemic Disciple-Making: Lessons for the In-Between

By Justin Gravitt “Ladies and gentleman, this is Justin, and I’ll be your captain today. On behalf of Jesus, welcome aboard Pandemic Flight COVID-19, offering non-stop service from your sense of normalcy to an undisclosed final destination. Flight time will be three weeks…uh, I mean three months… actually it could be up to 18 months, we’re just not sure. Never mind that. Please direct your attention to the front as we demonstrate the safety features of this Pandemic aircraft. While aboard please remember to stay in place. You must not move about the cabin. We remind you that this is… Read morePandemic Disciple-Making: Lessons for the In-Between

Discipleship Starts by Looking in the Rearview Mirror

by Bill Mowry (alongsider.com) You’ve just been hired for your dream job. You can’t wait until the first day of training. Then the text message arrives: “Report to our desert training outpost. Don’t bring any water or food. You’re going to be totally alone.” What kind of training is this? Now you feel a little like Jesus. After experiencing heaven’s opening, the Spirit’s descent, and the Father’s affirmation, He immediately gets a ticket to the dessert to fast and be tempted by Satan (Mark 1:9-13).  What’s going on here? What insight about disciplemaking does Mark, the gospel writer, want us to… Read moreDiscipleship Starts by Looking in the Rearview Mirror

Living in the Whirlwind

by Bill Mowry (alongsider.com)The Monday afternoon conversation went downhill fast. “How’s your week starting out Bill?” asked a friend. “I’m overwhelmed already,” I replied. Some weeks are like this. Every Monday morning, I plan my next two weeks of life. I review my calendar, check my priorities, and make my “to do” list — who to email, people to call, tasks to complete, people to see. Writing it down helps me remember. But, this list can overwhelm. Sometimes I feel I’m living in a whirlwind of activities. Jesus also faced this same dilemma. We catch the whirlwind of Jesus’s life… Read moreLiving in the Whirlwind

Seven basics to develop in those you disciple

by Justin GravittIf someone asked you to compile a list of seven basics of a disciple’s life, what would you include? Now, I’m not talking about beliefs or doctrines, but practices or disciplines. Take a moment and think about what would be on your list. When I was an infant disciple, I was introduced to seven basics. As I grew, they helped clarify for me what a disciple practiced. They also prepared me to be a disciplemaker. The seven basics keep the focus tight enough to manage and yet broad enough to develop depth. To be honest, I don’t know… Read moreSeven basics to develop in those you disciple