Before our conference in Orlando, I tuned into a panel of well-known pastors online. The topic: “Making Disciples.” Their deeply sacrificial success stories left me feeling completely inadequate, and yes, ‘poverty-stricken,’ when it comes to making disciples!
As I seek to disciple others, the story of the poor widow heartens me because I am so like her.
“Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” Mark 12:41-44 (NIV)
Can you imagine the scene in the temple, being among the wealthy, boisterous rabble throwing their money into the metal coffers? Can you hear the noisy jangle, “clang, clang,” as each coin hits the sides and bottom of the collection basins? They gave out of their surplus, but the poor widow courageously came forward and dropped in what she had—two very small copper coins. There was a sound, “cling, cling,” that more than likely no one heard. It took faith and courage for her to give what she had.
The “clangers” gave out of their surplus. The widow was a ‘clinger.’ To give everything she had required that she cling to God as her sole source of provision, care, and protection. It is the same for me as I seek to make disciples. I find I must cling to Jesus because I know I am inadequate.
When we consider making disciples, she helps us to remember:
- We can’t give more than we have.
- Jesus wants us to ‘cling’ not ‘clang.’
- Jesus wants everything that we have.
- Jesus blesses everything that we have.
- Jesus affirms everything we have.
- Jesus uses everything that we have.
The truth of the matter for me, the beloved panel of pastors, and you is that we are all inadequate. All of us must contemplate, “What do I have to offer, when it comes to making disciples?” And, “Will I courageously offer everything I have to Jesus in spite of my limitations?”
I have learned to pray, “Lord, I want to obey you. You know what I have to offer when it comes to making disciples. If you bring me someone to disciple, then I will do so.” Jesus seems to hear this prayer and He keeps bringing individuals for me to disciple one-on-one. To me this is miraculous and I marvel at His faithfulness. Over the years I have come to realize that indeed He wants me to ‘cling’ to Him as I make disciples. How about you? Are you clinging to Him as you make disciples?