Distracting, isn’t it?
We take disciple making (Discipleship) pretty serious here in the Cloud Forest Region of Ecuador. I’d like to take credit for how well things have gone this past year as we have seen many come to know the Lord, but the truth is, I can’t. We’re all just paying attention to the calls and commissions in our lives. In fact, that’s what this post is about. Paying attention… or the lack thereof.
In a small town called “Dystra” (fictional name), I can remember when the gospel was first spoken there. The level of interest was nothing less than phenomenal. We talked with people, laughed with them, cried with them, played, and prayed. There was intensity in their attention. We would go to Dystra weekly and sometimes in-between. They welcomed us into their homes and they were welcome in ours. On Thursdays, we would break up into groups and have small fellowships and discipleship. We invested ourselves in their lives and saw many powerful examples of transformation.
Then it started happening. As we would go and do our “Normal Weekly Thing,” one particular subgroup in Dystra became very distracted. There seemed to be a long stretch of weeks where there was always something else going on. At our scheduled time of meeting, this particular sub-group began arriving later and not putting their energy into paying attention, and becoming spiritually fidgety. Now, I have to confess that my first thought when this started happening was, “Fine! If you guys aren’t interested in THE WORD OF GOD, then I’ll GO FIND SOMEONE ELSE WHO’S HUNGRY FOR IT AND GO THERE!” The thought never manifested itself in words, but ultimately it did in action.
I could expound the reasons why this particular group became distracted, but it would not serve the main purpose of this post. It could simply be because I, and my associates are extremely boring people. Oddly enough, the “other” groups in Dystra began to grow. Especially where we as disciplers, did not have expectations. This has been a tremendous year of ministry in the region and we have seen the Kingdom of God expand in a markedly Super-Nautral way. What we have also seen is that other sub-groups like the one in Dystra have or are going through a similar distraction phase.
When it happens, we go through the same cycle as disciplers. We ask ourselves if we’re doing wrong, if our gospel message is complete and correct, if we should be taking it personally, if our attitudes are innapropriate, and sometimes we simply need to drift away from the drifters. And so, I’m putting our experiences out there for you, the reader, with a few questions:
1. What, in your opinion, is the root cause for being distracted in fellowship?
2. If someone is no longer interested in the things of God, should we just move on to those who are? Why or Why Not?
3. What steps have you taken in your gatherings and fellowship to solve the distraction/boredom problem?
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