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Bob Young

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Thanks for visiting the website! This month’s picture was taken in Bogota in September 2019. In addition to teaching, preaching, personal Bible studies, and presenting training seminars, I was privileged to preach at a Confraternidad -- a gathering of about a dozen churches in Bogota. [Click picture to enlarge.]

preaching in Bogota

Ministry and mission work is a team effort -- Jan and I have shared the task of ministry and mission work for over 50 years! Countless people have encouraged us, supported us, loved us, and prayed for us. In addition to the customary "Brother Bob" or "Hermano Bob," I am also known as dad and papaw in my family. One of my favorite breakfasts is huevos fritos, frijoles, and tortillas, with a good hot sauce and a cup of rich Colombian coffee! The greatest joy of my life is being part of the kingdom; my #1 priority is to advance "kingdom things" and to help develop authentic "kingdom people." I seek to share the good news about Jesus everywhere I go, helping people find Jesus and helping people mature as disciples of Jesus. One of the greatest blessings of my life is to be loved by countless people around the world!

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DECEMBER 2019

DECEMBER QUICK LINKS

  • Video Index
  • In Case You Missed These -- New in October and November

  • Steps toward Holistic Hispanic Ministry
  • November 2019 Mission Report
  • The Work and Role of the Holy Spirit in Acts and the Early Church
  • The Gift, Promise, and Baptism of the Holy Spirit
  • Filled with the Holy Spirit
  • Upcoming Mission and Ministry Schedule

  • December 1: Give mission report and preach; Main and Oklahoma church of Christ, McAlester, OK
  • December 8: "Filled with the Holy Spirit to Speak," teach Cornerstone Class, Park church of Christ, Tulsa, OK
  • I hope that you can attend an event when I am in your area (and perhaps we can share a cup of coffee). Contact me for specific details or to schedule an event. I am currently scheduling 2020 and 2021 (with a limited travel schedule).

    Discipleship: Modeling, Making, Maturing

    Note: I received a message with three questions. (1) What does it look like for us to be disciples of Christ? (2) How do we make disciples? (3) How do we mature disciples? Further conversation suggested the possibility of sharing a few sessions to explore this theme. A commitment to study, pray, dream, question, grow.
    The conversation will begin early in 2020 (to develop a 2020 vision of discipleship?!) with the goal of concluding by spring. If you would like to participate (in person, by Skype, by sharing notes and videos), contact me (message, email, text, phone). Details will be developed based on responses.
    Below I briefly share some initial thoughts.

    Modeling what it looks like to be a disciple of Jesus Christ
    A disciple is a continual learner -- that is what the word means, a follower and imitator of the teacher whose purpose is to learn the ways of the teacher.
    The disciple is always learning and accepting the "yoke" of the teacher. The ways (yoke) of the teacher include learning and teaching what the teacher teaches, representing the teacher, living according to the style of the teacher.
    The disciple was always with the teacher; therefore, the disciple was always on target or on mission, both in following and imitating. In the 21st century, that means that my discipleship is 24/7/365. My identity as a disciple determines how I use my time, mind, resources, who I want to become, how I live, what I speak, the priorities of my life reflected in all of the above.
    The disciple would never put self ahead of the teacher, the disciple would never think of self and self's desires before asking how to advance the teacher's ways and cause. This priority influences our attitudes toward stewardship of self, stuff, situation. The stewardship of discipleship says that I use as little as possible for my own necessities so I can invest everything in advancing the teacher's ways.
    Jan and I have known (and do know) some who have modeled discipleship so clearly and certainly that it could not be missed - a couple whose goal was to give more to church and missions than they kept for self.... friends we love to visit because every conversation is God-centered and focused on striving to understand our shared Christ-commitment.... brothers and sisters who studiously seek God's will and way…. tender hearts that continually seek to touch others with the gospel.
    The disciple cannot escape the reality of living in this world, but when shared discipleship is the modus operandi, the normal way of life, those shared activities provide spiritual support, encouragement, understanding, prayer, and study.
    Should it not go without saying? Disciples look like they are too serious about Jesus, that they are overly committed, and that they are leaving and forsaking all for the cause of the Master.
    The disciple knows the Master, seeks a close relationship, wants nothing more than to sit at the feet of the Master and learn, can listen for hours.
    When we visit in the homes of disciples, we know what will happen. We will sit and talk about the Master's matters almost endlessly.
    I hope you know the kind of experiences I mention, we are disciples together, thinking of the Master constantly.

    How do we make disciples?
    This is the more difficult part for most Christians - disciple-making begins with the whole-hearted commitment of a believer to become a faithful follower of Jesus. The significance of baptism is profound with the death of the old person and the new birth of a new person, totally new in Christ, not just forgiven, but a new person! The reason for beginning with this truth is that disciple-makers must first be disciples. We will make people like ourselves -- if we have misdefined discipleship, if our version of discipleship is not 100% "all in," we will make disciples who tend toward the periphery and do not achieve 100% "buy in."
    Matthew 28 says that disciple-making involves baptism, and that baptism must be followed by "teaching them to observe all that I teach." This two-step process describes the teacher-disciple relationship. We cannot observe "all" if we do not know "all." We cannot know "all" if we do not study and learn "all."
    Disciple-making demands that we escape our superficial approach to Christianity, defining the Christian primarily by attendance -- the more, the better.
    Biblically, discipleship is defined by the transformed life that is characterized by new commitments, new priorities, and a new purpose that is bigger than we are. This transformation is total -- transforming every aspect of our lives, our priorities, our relationships, our lifestyle, and our stewardship.
    The life of the disciple must be developed in a growth process, ever more committed to the cause of the Master, ever more committed to advancing that cause. The disciple forms relationships around the Master-disciple (teacher-learning) commitment -- relationship with God, with Christ, within the community of disciples, the family, and the circle of friendships.

    How do we mature disciples?
    If disciple-making involves an initial decision (baptism) and a subsequent learning (teaching them to observe all my commandments), perhaps maturing disciples is subsumed in the process of making disciples. Mature disciples are those who have learned the ways of the Master - mental learning that leads to a way of life characterized by changed thinking and changed actions.
    Ultimately, God matures disciples who want to mature. It is hard to help a person grow up who does not want to grow up!
    Since we tend to seek measurements, perhaps it would be sufficient to observe that maturity in the spiritual matters of the Master will be evidenced by rejecting the principles and values of the world and flesh.

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