Not too long ago, I woke up from a dream. It wasn’t the kind of crazy, scary, or nonsensical dream that you try to tell your friend afterwards that receives only a head tilt response indicating that your dream was illogical and ridiculous. It was a different kind of dream.
On this particular morning, I woke up with large hot tears flowing out of the corners of my eyes. It was a sensation that I never experienced before. The reason for the tears is what makes this story significant. I have recently been under quite a bit of pressure to perform in my current job. You might think it is strange to hear a pastor speak of his work as a “job,” but bear with me for a moment. My “work” was getting heavy and I was feeling the strain of the week closing out as I woke to speak to a gathered crowd awaiting to hear from God through a Sunday sermon. But this particular morning was different. It was as if I had heard from the Lord. In fact, this IS as close as I have ever been to hearing an audible voice from God. I would even go as fast as to say that I experienced a Theophany (Google that one later)! I didn’t wake up to my alarm clock that morning, but to the feeling of a hand on my shoulder. It oddly felt as though my actual father was waking me up early in the morning with the words, “Get up son, it’s time to go to work.” After wiping the tears and coming to full awareness of the situation (you know the feeling of waking up from a realistic dream and realizing that you are actually in your bedroom), I sprang to my feet and practically ran to start the shower. As the water flowed over my head a smile engulfed my face - one that I could not shake - at the realization of the new understanding that had come to me...
Today, I am going to work with dad.
Do you remember what that was like? I sure do. There is only one such incident from my own childhood that I am able to remember. I remember getting in the truck that morning which was already filled with the tools needed for the day. Dad had packed us both sandwiches, chips and ice cold Dr. Peppers to drink. Sure, we had a big day of work ahead of us, complete with manual labor (pouring a concrete sidewalk to be exact), but did that really matter? Remember, I was a kid going to work WITH DAD! What a joy.
It is in these waking moments that I realized that the bulk of my “ministry” was simply showing up! Dad would do the lion’s share of the work. All I needed to do was hand him tools and to do whatever he told me to do. What a liberating concept!
As far as living out the good news of Jesus is concerned, we should know that the results of our Disciple-Making efforts aren’t contingent upon our proficiencies, gifts, or winsome personality. Our Father is doing and will continue to do the work. Sometimes, all we need to do is to show up with a willingness to obey God in whatever he leads us to do. It is his work and he is inviting us to join him as he redeems all of mankind to himself.
*This is piece from an upcoming book on everyday people making disciples that is set to release in early 2019. Thank you for being a part of this journey and even more so for being obedient to Jesus’ command to make disciples!