This podcast was recorded at the Disciple-Making Conference breakout session training and focuses on disciple-making in a rural context. How do you make disciples in a rural context? The same way you do anywhere else, says Jonathan Blaylock, and that is by investing in people God has trusted you to shepherd. Every small town in America is unique, but Blaylock shares practical principles to help small town leaders to intentionally leverage their relationships and guide others to follow and imitate Jesus.
Here is an excerpt from this podcast:
How do you make disciples in a rural context? The same way you do anywhere else. Every small town, rural area is going to be a unique rural area. Your definition of rural in your context, your small town, it looks different than mine. Football might not be a big deal where you guys are. It may be baseball. They might not even play sports. Maybe you’re in a farming community. For us, it’s paper town, it’s paper mill, and I know in my context, I’ve got to respect the paper mill and the people that work there. Making disciples is simply helping others to follow Jesus. There’s this idea in the New Testament of imitation, of looking like, acting like, thinking like, talking like [Jesus]. My goal is to make people that look like Jesus. I want to love people like Jesus loved people. I want to talk to people like Jesus talked to people. I want to act like Jesus. And I want my community to see Christ in me. When Paul says, “Imitate me,” it’s only because he’s attempting and striving to imitate Christ. And if I say, “Imitate me,” it’s only because I’m trying to imitate Jesus. And I would qualify that you imitate me as long as I look like Jesus. If I stop looking like Jesus, don’t imitate me. If you’re a pastor, shepherd who God’s given you. Understand, I want to reach the whole world, just like you do. I want to go into all the nations, just like you do. But God’s given me a certain group of people, in my little town and I need to spend some time with them as well. I’m to shepherd them and to care for them, to love them. Invest in who God’s trusted to you.
by Jonathan Blaylock / Pastor / West Canton Baptist Church
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