- Church Depot
Another Story of Victory by Guest blogger Robby Rikard
Tuesday, March 27, 2012 - 15:57
About a year ago I became convicted about how I spend my time. I found that most of my time was spent studying for sermons or teaching opportunities, and visiting sick people. Those are good things and certainly worthy of my time, but I did not feel like my schedule lined up with scripture. Jesus has called me, along with all Christians, to make disciples, that is to invest in and love people. I did not feel I was getting the job done. I prayed and asked the Lord to help me see how I could spend my time more effectively. After praying over this for several months, He began showing me how He would have me make disciples.
I am so thankful that the Lord was leading our associational leadership in the same direction. They had a vision for starting small discipleship groups as a part of the 3D strategy that was launched at the fall meeting in 2011. These groups would meet once a week and each meeting would have 3 items on the agenda. First, participants would openly and honestly confess our sins and struggles that week to build accountability. Second, they would talk about how the Lord spoke to us in His word that week (they would have an assigned reading of around 30 chapters per week), and finally, they would pray for lost people in their lives. The meetings were to be kept very simple, informal, and no more than an hour long.
The Lord spoke to my heart concerning this vision, and by God’s grace I was obedient to His leading me to a few young men. I shared the vision with them, and they were happy to jump on board. This initial group has been meeting since October of last year. I want you to know that it has been the most amazing experience in my ministry. I have had the opportunity to watch these guys grow in the Lord and in fellowship with one another. They have grown from being men of God to being really great men of God, and I also see that I have grown through doing the Lord’s will.
After sharing with our folks at First Baptist Lyman how the Lord had blessed this vision, three more men came forward saying that they felt led to be a part of a group. Their first meeting was March 2. That night as a part of the introduction to the format of the group, I explained that as brothers in Christ they were to hold one another accountable. One of the men became convicted that he had never honestly trusted Christ and was going through the motions. He realized that he was not going to be able to grow with the rest of the group if he continued to “fake it.” That night he prayed and gave his life to the Lord once and for all. We observed his baptism last Sunday. Praise God!!!
I’ve been a Christian for 17 years now, and for the first time, I feel like I am actually doing what Jesus called me to do – make disciples. I know, I know, I have preached and taught and encouraged as a part of my vocational ministry for years, but preaching, teaching, and encouraging the sick were never meant to be a substitute for developing life changing relationships with people that lead them to walk closer to Christ.
Since I began praying for God to help me see how to make disciples, he has led me to do other things. He has led me to get intimately involved in people’s lives, and to demonstrate love for them through personal sacrifice. He has led me to be more intentional about every action and every word. He has led me to be more diligent in personal evangelism. I look forward to sharing more about this with you in this space in the weeks to come.
Let me just challenge and also encourage you. God has called you to make disciples. Are you making disciples? More simply put, are you making an effort to lead the people in your sphere of influence closer to Christ? I challenge you to answer the question honestly. I encourage you with this: if you will pray and ask God, then He will show you, yes you, how to be a disciple and how to make disciples.
I’m praying for all of you. If you feel that the Lord might be leading you to start or be a part of a group like I have described, then please…please give Steve, or Dionne a call. I would also be happy to help. The discipleship groups are transforming First Baptist Lyman and other churches within the association that are participating. I would love to see a hundred or so of these groups get started within our association. With God’s help and direction this can be done, and I have no doubt that it would revolutionize the character and culture of the Gulf Coast Baptist Association.
Grace and Peace!
-Bro. Robby Rikard, Pastor FBC Lyman