by Bill Mowry Who wouldn’t want to live a life of leisure these days? Our lives are so frantic that we long for those idle moments to step off the treadmill of life. Leisure is a break from activity to rest or re-charge our lives. Leisure originally meant something else and this “something else” is what disciples need. In forging the word leisure, the Greek and Romans designated it to mean a time free from the obligations of work to pursue knowledge and wisdom.1 Our word for “school” derives from scholia, meaning leisure.2 These ancient cultures exalted the importance of thinking but used… Read moreHelping Disciples live a life of Leisure
by Bill Mowry I have a simple rule of thumb for home projects. Every project, no matter how big or small, requires 2.5 visits to a hardware store. I either forget something or the project takes an unexpected turn that requires a new tool, part, or piece of lumber. Big box hardware stores overflow with products for every home project. Did you know that there’s a disciplemaking store that we can go to for our disciplemaking needs? This store is located near every disciplemaker and you can visit it as often as you want. Jesus was very clear about the… Read moreLet’s Go Shopping – in the Disciplemaking Store
by Bill Mowry We stumbled into a traffic jam. Peggy and I had planned a week’s vacation in sunny Savannah, Georgia. On the second day of our vacation, we decided to travel into the city to enjoy the historic downtown and sample the local food. Imagine our surprise when we were met by jammed streets, no parking, and people wearing green t-shirts and green necklaces. We had arrived in Savannah on St. Patrick’s Day. Our carefully chosen restaurant was packed with revelers. It turns out that Savannah has one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day parades in the U.S. and… Read moreGreen Evangelism
by Justin Gravitt It probably takes longer than you think, at least if you intend to make them like Jesus did. The details might disturb you. Let’s start by looking at how Jesus made disciples. Jesus spent at least three years (some scholars think it was closer to four) molding His men into the mighty disciple makers that would change the world. He walked with them, talked with them, and taught them the narrow way. But just how long is three years? Assuming Jesus was with them sixteen hours every day for three years (subtracting eight hours per night for… Read moreHow long does it take to make a disciple?
by Vicki Gratchell Melissa shared her story and I sat in silence, listening. I wasn’t shocked by the content she shared; many people have similar stories. I was struck silent because the words were that of a dear friend and thus the characters in her story were also characters in my own. All I could utter were silent prayers for God to intervene as I imagined the possible outcomes of what I heard. Each One Can Shepherd There was a third woman meeting with us that day, and as I silently pleaded with God for words, she opened the Scriptures… Read moreThe Power of Three
by Bill Mowry (alongsider.com) Disciplemaking is like ballroom dancing. There’s an elegance and structure to this beautiful dance of growth. In traditional ballroom dancing, there’s an established leader and a follower. In traditional disciplemaking, the “disciplemaker” typically takes the lead while the one being “discipled” follows. Just as ballroom dancing differs from couple to couple so no disciplemaking ministry is exactly alike. Like the dancers we have varying styles. One disciplemaking style follows a structured, logical approach to helping someone grow. There’s almost a prescribed choreography to this dance. I call this disciplemaking dance style “structured intentionality.” Others are more… Read moreMay I have this dance?
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
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
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?
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