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Closure and Bows

discipleship-practices-marting

Discipleship is a great catalyst for growth. It’s a process that meets someone and makes a change. One of the biggest balances to strike is the end game of discipleship.

Christmas is over, but I still remember all the presents under the tree. I could easily tell which I had wrapped from those my wife wrapped. All of hers had a bow. Some were big red ones and some were those silver ribbon-y kind. None of my presents had bows. It just never even occurred to me to finish a present topped with a bow.

Remembering those presents, I realized most of my meetings end without being wrapped up nicely. Finishing a talk or discussion with a couple of questions is actually a good practice. If you wrap things up too much, then there’s really no reason to continue thinking about what was said.

It’s uncomfortable (even jarring) for some people to be left without a clear answer to a question or three points of action they can try in response to your time together. It might be unsettling for you as well. But what really happens is a matter of trust. Do you really trust God to enter into that space? Do you trust the people you see to work out their faith when they leave?

Try this sometime. Start a conversation about something you have no specific answer ready. It doesn’t have to be about understanding the Trinity or predestination. Just try to enter a place where the answer can’t be known right then. Stay in that place. Don’t run from it. Then give some direction. You might say I think you should keep thinking about this and see where God leads you.

You will absolutely grow more in trusting God to do work outside of your influence. The people you lead will also grow more when they are forced to trust more as well.


Looking for more? Paul has written a great book on discipleship called Masterpiece: The Art of Discipling Youth. Download a free sample or purchase your copy here

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