Have you ever had a bad habit? Did you beat it? Have you ever gotten out of a terrible relationship? Have you ever started eating better? If you have, then you know that incredible feeling of making positive changes. But, it is not so much about being free, having better friends, or losing weight. That incredible feeling comes from taking charge, making a decision for your good, and, feeling better about yourself.You may not realize it, but every time you make one of those great choices, you are repenting. I know. It sounds a little bit odd, but I want to think about repentance differently for a minute. The Cambridge Dictionary defines “repent” and “repentance” this way,
A model is a person with a role to promote, display or advertise commercial products (notably fashion clothing in fashion shows), or to serve as a visual aid for people who are creating works of art or posing for photography.2
Models help us see the product in action. They show us how those clothes would look in real life on a real person. Well, we say, “Real” but most of us do not look anything like those beautiful models. Much of modeling is getting us to hope or believe that maybe we can look that great.
I looked across the room at Sally and saw the oddest look on her face. It was a room full of disciples (guys and gals), but I had to ask. God was queuing me to ask, “Sally, what’s up?”
“I’m Jezebel,” she said.
The room got quiet. I said nothing. The air was thick. Right there in front of everyone, Sally said,
“I am that controlling woman leading my husband astray. I am that woman taking his strength and manipulating.”
It stayed quiet, and I let the moment sink in.
“Well now you know what you need to do, right?”
“Repent?” she offered.
“Yep. Okay, next highlight. Who has the next highlight?”
Sally’s face remained pensive. We went on to cover the next “aha” moment from the group’s bible reading. I shared the moment with my wife (an incredible disciple-maker!), and we committed ourselves to prayer that God would finish breaking up the ground and that Sally would lean in and adjust to God’s truths.
We worked together to develop a simple, three year, no-frills business plan detailing specific goals for marketing, operations, pricing, and management. The chairman began to get involved. He hired an experienced director and pushed the staff to carry out the plan. The daycare moved back towards its original passion and began intentionally providing daycare to the community. They got excited. Teachers and parents talked. They even put a sign out front. And, you guessed it, enrollment grew, deficits turned into profits, and the board sensed a reason for existing.
We all know that we are supposed to make disciples. We want to make fully devoted followers of Christ, but so often we are just doing daycare. We are making disciples, but we are operating at a deficit. We do not have enough disciple-makers. We do not have enough people who want to be discipled. And, most often, we do not have a clear plan for what we will do to “make disciples.”