Jesus once reminded his disciples, The fields are white unto harvest! In other words, open your eyes; disciple making opportunities are everywhere! All kinds of people need Jesus – men and women who are our responsibility to disciple. We just have to be intentional and prayerful in noticing them. Here are four examples of local discipling relationships we’ve formed. One, Tracey, was influenced by my wife several years ago when they taught at the same elementary school. Tracey is now discipling others! The other three are from very different backgrounds. We met each of them at a time when they were searching for more. – Mike Stroud
Tracey Patterson, Women’s Circle Leader. A retired teacher, Tracey has been involved with Timothy Network since 2009. She’s among our most active discipling leaders for women and also serves on Timothy Network’s Board of Directors. Tracey writes, Something transformative happens when we are transparent with one another. We don’t have a chance to do this in formal church settings or even in small groups where a dozen or more men and women come together. I say this as a believer in both the Sunday assembly and in small groups ministry. Discipling circles with only 3 – 5 people allow for greater focus and intimacy, however. Discipleship is enhanced and those discipled are more likely to repeat the process by discipling others.
Robin Buntin, Monday Morning Women’s Discipling Group. Robin has been in the local real estate business for many years. She is currently being discipled by Tracey Patterson and Karen Stroud. Robin says, Involvement with Timothy Network has matured my faith and continues to strengthen my Christian walk. Our small discipling group ( 5 of us ) has become a God created family! We study and discuss scripture, enjoy strong fellowship, pray for each other, our community, our country and the whole world. I receive daily blessings and an immeasurable peace that is gifted from God through the discipling relationships formed in my discipling group.
Thom Christy, Thursday Men’s Discipling Group and Genesis Fellowship. Thom, a local photographer, is one of the most interesting people I know. A preacher’s son from the midwest, he attended seminary and spent time as a missionary in Alaska. He later moved south and pastored a few small churches. As most of us know, life tends to be full of hard knocks, and Thom went through his own time in the “wilderness.” We met him on the other side of healing and recovery when his hunger for the Lord was growing. Although seminary trained, Thom says he was never discipled or taught how to disciple others. He plugged into one of our discipling circles about two years ago. He and his wife are also part of the core group that makes up Genesis Fellowship. Thom’s hunger for the Lord is both sincere and refreshing. His compassion and spirit of encouragement have helped many others who are involved with us.
Tim, Genesis Fellowship Group. Tim is a survivor of life on the streets. Although living in a local motel at the moment, he spent much of his life on the streets of Phoenix before “migrating” to Tennessee. He has attended Timothy Network’s Sunday morning Genesis Fellowship for the past several months. We genuinely love this guy! Tim arrives ready to help with coffee set-up and has been an active participant in Sunday morning fellowship, study, and discussion. He brings a straight-forward candidness to the Genesis Fellowship. Tim has been a very refreshing addition to the group.