I hate folding laundry. Having three girls, it gets confusing for me to know what belongs to whom and what drawer different items belong in. Let’s not mention the bin of lonely socks, which sit waiting to see if they will ever reunite with their significant others. Next month will mark eight years of marriage for my wife Meg and I, and I am still getting the hang of doing the laundry in our home.
Friends, Jesus makes no mistake about our essential tasks as Christians. When it comes to "making Disciples," He doesn't invite, suggest, or propose... He commands. "Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations..." (Matt 28:19). The writings of Vatican II remind us that the role of evangelization is not solely the responsibility of bishops, priests and religious, but also of the entire laity.
Every one of us, as Catholics, are called to be making disciples.
This starts with our example, of living a holy and joyful life. However, actions without words are not enough. “There is no true evangelization if the name, the teaching, the life, the promises, the kingdom and the mystery of Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God are not proclaimed” (Pope Paul VI, Evangelii Nuntiandi 22).
Make a friend, be a friend, bring a friend to Christ. It's that simple. Who do you work with? Who do you play sports with? Who do you see every day at the gym? Who do you go to school with? Invite them out for coffee, or over for dinner with your family, and be casual!
Gain the right to be heard by listening to them, asking questions and showing them that you care about them. Don't turn people into projects, just love them, share your faith with them, ask questions, and listen. Check out Sherry Weddell's book on this topic, Forming Intentional Disciples.
As a missionary for Dirty Vagabond Ministries, I am challenged and blessed to do this on a regular basis. Jesus became incarnate, which means to put “flesh on.”
This happens as I meet kids where they are at and accept and love them. We don’t put up flyers and hope kids will show up. We show up where kids are. We build friendships. We love kids. God is working in powerful ways in our city as we do this. The reality I have come to learn is that it doesn’t matter whether you are a full-time missionary, we are all called to put “flesh on” to the gospel as we show Jesus to others.
What kind of husband would I be, if I believed that laundry was only my wife's job? Hint: not a good one. We can no longer afford to be a church who assumes that making disciples is only a job for youth ministers, priests, religion teachers, etc. Who are you walking with? Who has considered becoming Catholic or became Catholic because of you sharing your faith with them? Besides your children, who have you discipled?
This may be a new challenge or seem foreign to you. That's okay. Read books on making disciples, sharing your faith, and evangelization. We are all still learning! If you cannot think of one person in your life that you are walking with on the road to intentional discipleship, it is time to start praying for that person to come along.
And let us all pray for the courage and faithfulness to "Go make disciples."
Andy Churray, Missionary Wichita, KS