Making Disciples Where You Are

We are about four weeks out of the Allume conference and many of you have gotten back to your normal routines and normal life, while some of you are still picking up the pieces of the disaster hurricane Sandy left behind. I pray that wherever you are, God is using the words of the speakers you heard to spur you on, challenge you, and encourage you in your everyday life.

These past few years, each Allume conference has carried with it a running theme throughout the speakers messages. Although these themes weren’t preconceived by conference planning, God was very much a part of putting these themes into place to reach the hearts of us.

The first year, speakers spoke mainly on not neglecting your family for the sake of your blog. Crystal Paine spoke of having boundaries and not neglecting your husband–especially in the bedroom. “If you don’t have time to have sex with your husband, you don’t have time to blog.” Oh yes, she went there–because it’s something we need to be reminded of! Sally Clarkson spoke passionately and encouragingly of blogging with integrity. If you’re neglecting your family for blogging, you’re not blogging with integrity.

The second year, speakers spoke of not seeking fame in blogging. They said it over and over again: ignore the stats, don’t seek your worth through your numbers. Ann Voskamp really hit it home in her key note as she spoke about letting go of the fame-seeking because Jesus never sought fame. He had just 12 followers! She encouraged us, though, to rumble the web with thunder and watch as God brought the lightening. God would light up the Internet if we would bring the offering–our stories. Our brokenness. Not sermons, or preaching.

This year? The theme was to reach the people who are right in front of you. While it is similar in nature to not chasing after fame, it still has a more narrow focus. The message was that if we are ignoring those people who need ministering to right in front of us to go out and chase numbers, we are failing to recognize the ministry God has placed before us.

Something that’s also very important that we need to be aware of is this: people may not comment on your writing, but they are still reading. You may not even realize that there is a broken woman reading your words on the other side of the screen; a woman who doesn’t know the love of Christ but finds hope through the words you share because they illuminate Christ. They draw her in, yet we have no idea because she has never commented.

All of these themes speak to one central message: discipleship. We are called to make disciples. All of us. Not just certain people. It begins in our home but it doesn’t end there.

We reach the people right in front of us.

Through missions you can help reach those across the globe as well, by being a sender.

But let’s focus for now on your blog, if you have one. Minister to those already coming to your blog. Don’t ignore them to chase after more people. Reach the heart and pour into the few.

In Luke 16:10, Jesus says “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much…”

Let us be good stewards of who is right in front of us. Let us minister to the one person. Let us tell our stories for the one who needs to hear them. Because that one matters.

Joy in Christ,

Christin, Joyful Mothering

Christin

Christin has a heart to encourage and equip women in aspects of discipleship, marriage, mothering, writing, blogging, and community. She sees the body of Christ as an important community of encouragement and discipleship and works to foster that around the web. She has been married 13 years and has 7 children ranging in age from 11 down to 3. You can find her encouraging moms at her blog Joyful Mothering, writing some deeper thoughts on life and writing at ChristinSlade.com, and learning more about Google+.

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  • http://www.toodarnhappy.com/ KIM HALL

    This is a message we just can’t hear enough! It’s about following, trusting, and especially about believing God (as opposed to believing in God). One of my favorite verses is Jeremiah 29:11: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

    • http://joyfulmothering.net CHRISTIN

      So true, isn’t it Kim? I thought after I typed it that I’d written (or read) something similar not too long ago. But how much we need to be reminded!!

  • http://www.larawilliams.org LARA GIBSON WILLIAMS

    Yes! He’s always moving and working right in front of us, the question is whether or not we’re tuned to Him. Thanks for the reminder, Christin.

    • http://joyfulmothering.net CHRISTIN

      Yes! Exactly, Lara. Are we tuned in or are we distracted?

  • GUEST

    Thank you for sharing!

  • http://www.joleneengle.org/ JOLENE @ THE ALABASTER JAR

    Amen, Christin. Beautiful reminder (although I wasn’t able to attend Allume :( )

    • http://joyfulmothering.net CHRISTIN

      Thanks Jolene–you are always a part of the community whether you’re able to make the conference or not! The conference is only one part. ((Hugs))

  • http://citychickinthecountry.com/ DONNA OSHAUGHNESSY

    Allume had an incredible impact on my “mid-life oh no what am I going to do now” world. The speakers were so encouraging and gentle, but firmly challenged us to reach OUT to others; to go OUT of the comfort zone. Since Allume, God has been doing a work on my heart. Generally, I am an outgoing person. However, since a not so pretty church situation, the last 5 years of my life I have become very resistant to going “out there” even in church (did you read Lisa-Jo Baker on {in}courage on 11/29?

    Long and short of it HE wants me OUT THERE…in the “big, bad, scary” world :0). He has impressed on me to start a ladies bible study and open it to ladies in my area…the UN-churched ladies 0_0 in my small town that really NEED Him. I have asked Him a few times (okay EVERY SINGLE DAY) if He is sure I need to go OUT there. He assures me to trust Him one step at a time.

    So…if my blog/writing/life can be used to reach others for Him…I need to be willing to go OUT there and let Him lead me. Prayers appreciated….and thanks seems so insignificant a word to use to you ladies that put Allume together…but it is what I have. THANK YOU!
    By His grace,

    Donna

    “Choose to do for one, what you wish you could do for everyone.” Andy Stanley

    • http://joyfulmothering.net CHRISTIN

      Oh Donna, what an incredible privilege you have to go out. I pray He give you peace. I was experiencing some major fears and feelings of inadequacy regarding our adoption lately and today, He gave me peace and those fears are GONE. I pray He will do the same for you!! Walk in His light!!

  • http://crystalstine.blogspot.com/ CRYSTAL

    What grace! To stop worrying about being like anyone else, writing like anyone else, and just be who you are, where you are, writing what God puts on your heart for whomever He brings through the doors of your blog. I needed this reminder today :)

  • JILL MONACO

    I love what your thoughts about “we reach the people right in front of us.” I remember talking to God one day and he showed me how Jesus reached whoever was in front of him. A crowd or an individual. It didn’t matter…his ministry was who was there. Thanks for highlighting this again for me. I’m blessed!

  • http://twitter.com/lifesurrendered MICHELE-LYN

    Wow! Yes and amen. I read and re-read and I am letting the words go down deep in my soul. I love this! Truly. It is full of wisdom and clearing the fogginess I’ve been walking through. Thank you for your heart for God and His people. You are a great example to me!