A key question in discipleship is when and how do we invest in our relationship with Jesus.
There are many different ways in which people do this including; quiet time, gathering for morning prayers, prayer and worship while driving to and from work, and many, many more.
If I’m honest one thing I do miss about having my old job was that the commute was almost an hour, and this drove me to a place where I was able to commune with God – offering up my prayers and listening to what he had to say to me for that day. I have tried since to throw myself into a more traditional approach of quiet time, however, for me this has not really worked on a consistent basis – although when it has I have definitely found the benefits of it.
Just this week the resource team have been discussing the use of time. Reflecting on how things used to be. For me, with a young child, another on the way, and two little dogs, time is one thing that I find I don’t seem to have an abundance of. But thinking about life before having a family, before marrying Jodie, seems rather a waste of time. I may have had more time on my hands to pray and read my Bible back then, but now I am more intentional about the time I do have, and it’s become much more about quality than quantity. Walking my dogs help me to talk to God about the things which are troubling me – be this in regard to work, rest or play. This time is not only an investment in keeping me fit, wearing out Wills and Harry (and in the process making Jodie happy), but also an investment in the relationship which I know should be number 1.
We are all individuals, with different demands on our time – so don’t feel like you need to measure up to others. Use the time you do have. Take the opportunities you can to draw closer to Jesus. This may look like praying while you; wash the pans, brush your teeth, peal the potatoes, walk the dog, or while doing the grocery shop. God knows the time that you can give him at this stage in your life, so be intentional about giving it. To coin a well know supermarket’s catch phrase ‘Every Little Helps’ – so give the little, and over time the little will grow, and you will too.
As well as this everyday pattern of building that relationship we also need to make time for the special events. This is something that in other areas of my life I do struggle with – For instance, I speak to Jodie every day finding out what’s going on in our lives, what God maybe saying to us, and investing in our relationship. But I could not tell you the last time that we had a date night, where we put the rest of our life to one-side and concentrated for that time on ‘just us’.
Jesus wants to do everyday life with you, but he also wants to have those special moments, where your relationship with him can become even stronger, go even deeper, and lead to MORE!
Over the past few months we have been running Alpha, which has been one way that not only those attending, but also those leading have created space for that special time. For each and everyone of us there are seasons in our lives where the intensity for this kind of relationship building comes around. When it does we need to grab it with both hands, be intentional about the how and where it can happen, and commit to it.
If you think that you, or someone from your MSC, could benefit from putting aside a certain time each week to be intentional about investing in relationship with Jesus, it could be that you seriously pray and ask God if the way to do that is through Step Up.
Step Up is a great way to be discipled and to disciple others, and what’s great is that it’s for anyone – nobody is too old. This year there have been small group leader, MSC leaders, people in key ministry areas from other churches, alongside people who are starting to ask God what he may be calling them to, journeying together and asking “what is God saying and how am I going to respond?”
If you are considering putting this kind of time aside to develop your relationship with God and think Step Up could be the place to do so, then you maybe interested to know that from September we are hoping to run an evening session as well as the already established morning session. If you want to know more, then visit the website www.step-up-team.org or contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org).