Lessons From The Run v4

The day I went public with my goal to run a half marathon I had many people asking me about it.  I had a few people mention to me that my goal had inspired them to do things as well.  I have a few friends who have taken significant steps to improve their health by starting to live a more active lifestyle who have thanked me for challenging them with my own actions.  Over the past five months I have been asked frequently how my training has been going.  kevin_biglake

Many people were aware of the date of the half marathon that I was to run and were encouraging me the week before.  The day after the race and throughout this past week I have had many people ask me how the run went.  The fact that they are asking me without me prompting them to by dropping hints that the run is over makes me believe that they truly care about how the run went.  They are taking the steps to follow up with me and see how I am doing, how the race went, and what my next plans are.

One thing that I have observed, and been guilty of myself, is putting such and emphasis on getting people to take an action step and then leaving them all on their own after making the move.  In the church at large I see a great effort in getting people in the doors of our buildings so that they can hear the Gospel.  I see the desire to “get them saved” and add a number to a monthly report.  I see a lot of backs being patted for the number of people who have given their lives to the Lord.  These are great things and reason to celebrate – truly they are.  But usually before the confetti has even been swept up we have forgotten about the person that we are celebrating over.

It seems as though follow up is a lost art.  Once a person “crosses the line” in church they are just part of the crowd.  As if the line they crossed is the finish line when in all actuality it is a starting line.  I believe we (church leaders, church members, and Christians in general) need to place a much greater emphasis on discipleship.  To actually help people along in their journey with God.  We need to be ready and available to sit and answer questions.  This task can seem daunting but I believe it is one of the greatest things that we can spend our time doing.  To be able to help a person who is trying to figure out who God is in their life is a miracle.  To stand beside a person in their doubts, fears, and questions and allow them to verbalize their true feelings – without judgement – and then direct them to what the Bible says is an incredible honor that we all need to actively participate in.

I loved being able to talk with people about how my race went.  I was really encouraged by the support I received from people after the race was over.  I am actually considering running another few races simply because of the feeling that I got from having people show interest in my running.  I can only imagine what that feels like for others who have people who are interested in helping them along after praying a prayer.  I think we need to be much more excited about doing that with people than just praying with them to accept Jesus.  

Even more than that, I believe Jesus is counting on us to be the ones to reach out to those who are new in their faith and to make time with them a priority.  Crossing a finish line doesn’t exist in the Christian faith.  Not until death.  Let’s help people continue along in their walk by following up with them.  Let’s listen to the words of Jesus as He commands us to “go and make disciples”.

Who is it that you need to connect with?  How are you helping someone along in their faith?

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Kevin Twombly on May 15, 2009 at 11:10 am

    @Tim – ah yes, that darn PMRS stuff… It truly has ruled and reigned for too long now and we need to get back to the basics of connecting with people and being more intentional with our time. I found a great book a few weeks ago – Augustine As Mentor – that talks about this issue in great detail.

    great to hear from you here on the blog!


  2. Great blog Kevin, and great points. Once apon a time, in general, we lived in a “Christianized” society. By that I mean Christianity was the “background noise” of our culture. People getting saved were embraced by a culture that encouraged a Christian lifestyle without necessarily teaching them in a deep sort of way. Thus, the church became lax in the discipline of discipleship. Now we live in a pluralistic morally relativistic society that rails against any kind of a deeper life let alone a deep Christian life. So the church, already out of practice and out of the habit of raising up new believers finds itself either 1. oblivious to the need, or 2. poorly equipped for the job. Fortunately, I think good people, such as yourself, are onto the need and are rising up to meet the challenge of nurturing new believers in a post-modern world. As far as the Kingdom is concerned we have better days ahead of us.


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