Teach and Disciple Others
I was minding my own business in my office, preparing a Bible story for an upcoming pastor’s training, when the watchman came to say that someone was at the gate to see me. Somewhat reluctantly, I left my desk to see who had come to visit. When I arrived at the gate, I saw a young man I knew I had met but couldn’t quite place. He introduced himself as Ishmael and reminded me how we had met at his uncle’s wedding four months ago.
Ishmael came looking for some Bible study books that he could use at his church where he led the choir and the youth group. I began telling him I didn’t have that kind of resource available and that we didn’t really use those kinds of materials in our ministry but that I would keep him in mind if I came across any. Then God smacked me in the head and reminded me that our ministry was Bible storytelling.
I invited Ishmael in and asked him if I could tell him a story from God’s Word. He said, “Yes,” and I told him the story from Mark 1:14-20 about Jesus calling His first disciples. After I finished telling the story, Ishmael told back as much of it as he remembered, and then we walked through the story together. As we discussed the story, asking and answering questions, I noticed he was struck by the way the disciples left their boats and followed Jesus immediately.
When we came to the point of applying this story to our lives, I asked Ishmael, “We saw how those fishermen left everything to follow Jesus; is there anything in our lives today that we need to leave behind to follow Jesus better?” He began to talk about several things he felt God was asking him to leave behind. After some more discussion, he said he needed to be going and we closed our Bible study in prayer.
When I finished praying, Ishmael said, “This story has touched me. Can I come again to hear another story?” He came back once every week or two to talk about another story, and it was a joy to watch him grow as he engaged God’s Word. But he didn’t stop there; he took what he was learning each week back to his church and used it there to teach and disciple others.