As I look back on my disciplemaking efforts, there have been joyful days, when disciples would grow into spiritual fathers and run with the 2 Timothy 2:2 vision.
But there have also been the sad days with crushing disappointments when a disciple into whom I poured much time & energy & prayer, left the Lord and ran enthusiastically into the world. Only the Bible brought consolation and encouragement. It reminded me of Judas – drop out number one. Then there is Paul’s disappointment with John Mark, Demas ( having loved the world he deserted 2 Timothy 4:10), and others. But the verse I need the most is John 6:66. Many of Jesus’ disciples followed Him no longer! The Greek makes it clear their departure was irreversible. They never returned. Tragic!
When calling us to ministry, the Lord does not promise cloudless sky and an easy road. The road of a disciplemaker is a difficult road, a road Jesus Christ – our leader & guide – traveled. Having been called to the way of a disciplemaker, one has to remember it comes with a cost. Yes, In order for us to make disciples, we must first be disciples. We can’t give away what we don’t have. But if Jesus and Paul and countless other top notch disciplemakers had dropouts, be absolutely sure we will too.
The strategy we need to follow in dealing with dropouts is clear. John 6:67 & following. How does Jesus respond? He keep right on making disciples. He is unstoppable. Are you?