"Make disciples"; the last command Christ gave the church before He ascended to heaven. As a minister of the gospel this is the heart of all I do. My driving force is to see people not only won to the kingdom but firmly growing in their walk with Christ and winning others to the Lord as well. So I spend time with people. I meet them for coffee or lunch, have them over for dinner, study the Bible together, pray with them, minister with them and invest in their lives. At the end of the day, I'm exhausted but have a great sense of accomplishment...all the while, my little boy waits paitiently.
In the midst of my mentoring and spiritual leadership of others, my son watches from the background. He doesn't say a word when our playtime is interrupted by someone on the phone in the midst of a crisis. He doesn't complain when I have to miss his school choir perfomance because of "ministry". He understands when our "guys night out" is cut short because someone is in need of prayer and spiritual counseling. He waits, and watches patiently while daddy fufills the great commission. At least that's what I tell myself.
If you're in ministry you've more than likely wrestled with balancing family needs with ministry responsibilities. The church world is a demanding place. After all we are dealing with eternal issues. But what if after we have preached, ministered, served and witnessed to others we find that those we love the most are the ones who've paid the price. Is it possible to spend your whole life in service to others, only to realize that you've neglected the lives that you were most responsible to serve? My father used to say, "If I win the whole world but lose my son, my ministry has been a failure." Do you realize the first command to make disciples was not given to the collective church? It was given to the fathers and mothers of Israel.
In Deuteronomy 6:5-9 God gives the first Great Commission:
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. "And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." (NKJV)
A word to the wise: discipleship must begin at home if it is to have any lasting impact on the world. There is no congregation, ministry, or religious expectation that is of greater priority or urgency than your own family. The truth is, we are commanded to make disciples. The most important disciples we will ever make, however, are the ones in our own household.