Over the last week or so, I’ve been slowly making my way through the book, ‘The Invested Life,” by Joel C. Rosenberg and Dr. T.E. Koshy. The subtitle to the book is, ‘making disciples of all nations one person at a time’.
The book is based around two simple questions:
- Who is investing in me?
- Whom am I investing in?
One of the things I’ve really enjoyed about this book are the personal testimonies that pepper the chapters of how the lives of men and women have been transformed because of those who took the time to invest in them and disciple them.
In Chapter 2, the authors highlight three characteristics of a disciple that really come in the form of the people they have around them. Dr Howard Hendricks of Dallas Theological Seminary puts it like this:
- a “Paul” – an older and wiser believer to invest in your spiritual growth;
- a “Barnabas” – a friend who encourages you, teaches you and keeps you accountable; and
- a “Timothy” – a younger believer in whose life you can invest.
– mentioned on pg 29, The Invested Life
Lately, I’ve come to better understanding of the role I’ve been given to mentor the “Timothys” under my care. I know that my life is not my own – in the sense that whether I like it or not, these guys and girls watch how I live and potentially will follow the example I set in how I approach ministry, my work, relationships, my prayer life… it’s an incredible responsibility but at the same time, such a privilege to be a positive influence in the next generation of leaders. It’s how we leave a legacy that outlasts our earthly lives – we can do a good job of it or just float through life accumulating things and investing in things that have no eternal value.
I’m also so thankful for the “Barnabases” that God has sent my way in the last year or two. After I moved into my current church home, I thought I would need to join a life group at a slightly bigger church to get the support and encourage I needed to continue serving faithfully at the place that God has placed me. But, God had other plans :). Soon after, people I’d met over the years but had not really formed strong or sustained friendships with, started to come out of the ‘woodwork’. He has pinpointed some individuals who have spoken faith and truth into my life and continues to bring people in to encourage me in my walk with Him. I’ve recognised that I’m not the kind of person that needs that constant daily contact to keep me on track but every once in a while, a good D&M over coffee/food with a sister in Christ is enough to carry me over for a few more months before I need my ‘hit’ of inspiration so to speak :P. God is good.
I guess right now I’m still praying for God to highlight the “Pauls” in my life. I definitely count my parents as my “Pauls” who have invested copious time and effort into my spiritual growth but I know that it’s important to have someone outside of the family context to speak into my life as well. There is someone I have in mind but I think more prayer is needed before I approach them. Afterall, life investments shouldn’t be taken lightly…
So, who is investing in you? And whom are you investing in?
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:19-20
– Ames –