The Pastor's Corner
“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; 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.
In the church where I spent much of my childhood growing up was a senior member I remember well that had a significant influence upon my life.
Reggie was a retired railroad worker who devoted his retirement years to growing flowers and flowering shrubs. In fact, his passion for flowers soon made our church the featured photo each spring with its flowerbeds featuring lilies and blooming shrubs.
Now that wasn't a cause for Reggie's influence among some of us younger members. In fact, his concern for the landscape and flowers created points of conflict when we showed disregard for them with our play and games.
Nor did Reggie's strongly stated views about popular youth culture and their music, dress, hair style, and other behavior cause him to be liked or appreciated by the younger set. However, there was one area that created a bridge between Reggie and at least some of us youth. Reggie was an avid rock hound that was second to none when it came to knowing about and collecting rocks and gemstones.
He'd bring samples of his latest finds, cut and polished to give to us kids. Sometimes he'd organize an outing to collect agates or fossils. He'd cut or polish stones that we brought to him, making it seem like we had discovered a real treasure.
Over time, we came to view Reggie as a friend and mentor, not the old grouch we had often complained to each other about.
Now what has this to do with our scripture above? Simply this; Reggie found a way of making us disciples through a common interest or social activity. His opinions and views about social and moral issues held no attraction to many of us. But like the text admonishes to do first, he found a way to bridge the gap and become a friend.
Disciple making is essential to fulfill Jesus great commission. Why will they listen if they aren't first attracted to the messenger? Looking back, I can't help but smile as I recall Reggie and all those rocks we collected.
He actually did know what he was talking about.