I will have been blogging for 10 years this summer. It began after Lynn Haven UMC moved to the Transmitter Rd. location and Pastor Nic Gibson told me I needed to start a weblog, so I guess he’s to fault whenever someone finds my random thoughts annoying. It was before I began graduate school, before realization of God’s call to ordained ministry in the church, before seminary, before I even knew I was already being used in healing and recovery ministry. There are 416 posts on this blog. In addition to that, I have been a regular journaler for 25 years. This was my first weblog post……. a reprise, for those who wonder about the title of my blog: Disciplerofself
It IS All about Me, Sort Of…..
This is my first dive into the blogosphere as a URL blogger. I have been told by several people that I need this as an outlet for my opinions (because they’re tired of hearing them, I think!) So, here goes….
With regard to my blog name, discipler of self, it all began in a pastor’s office in 1997, as my husband and I were considering a change of churches. I was sitting in front of the senior pastor of the prospective church and telling him what I hoped to find in his congregation……sound preaching from the Bible, personal spiritual growth, and someone to mentor me in my Christian walk. He said, “What you’re wanting is someone to disciple you.” “Yes,” I replied. That was it, as I recall. No suggestion beyond that. No indication that I would, indeed, find that in his congregation. And no indication that there was any kind of formal mentoring or discipling process in place there.
I had, in fact, been on a spiritual journey for some time but had reached the limit of my own ability to further myself on the path and desparately needed someone more mature to guide me, to talk with me, to provide some reassurance.
We joined that congregation and it has been a blessing in our lives. Looking back on it all, I can see that many people discipled me in an informal and occasional, as needed, way. Since then I have undertaken a discipling role in the lives of several people, by intention and with some design. Some of those discipling relationships have worked well for both of us. Some have not. I have learned a lot. But mostly I’ve learned how little I know. And how much more discipling I need.
I am no longer seeking a discipler for myself. I found that. In Christ. In His Holy Bible. A few weeks before I sat in that pastor’s office, I’d made a decision that seemed to me at the time a little bit like a jump into deep water (much like this blog.) I had been sitting in a church service during a sermon (another church, another pastor) and had questioned whether or not I earnestly could accept ALL of the Bible as authoritative. I took a mental deep breath and said to myself and God, “Lord, I’m not sure I really understand all the implications that this may have for my life, but I affirm now that I accept your Word as authoritative. I trust you to lead me into understanding it by the power of your Holy Spirit, according to your timing and your purpose for my life.”
I didn’t realize it at the time, but that was the moment that I quit being my own discipler, pursuing my spiritual growth through my own strength and intellect and surrendered to the Holy Spirit, Christ the Teacher. He became my discipler and I became His disciple.
Discipler of self may seem an arrogant and conceited concept. But when one considers that it is Christ in me who disciples, leads, instructs, corrects and disciplines, then I hope you will understand that we are ourselves responsible for taking that leap, making that decision of surrender. It is all about our own decision about how deep we wish to go with Christ. I’m still exploring deeper and deeper depths with Christ. He takes me only as far as I’m prepared to go. The more I trust Him, the more I come to realize that I’m capable of going much further than I would think, but it is not I , but He who sustains me in those depths.
This blog is an invitation to you to join me in the journey of faith, to share your experience of discipleship however it is currently constructed. And I will be doing the same through this medium. God bless us both.