US. Mennonite Brethren are being encouraged to think of ourselves as followers of Jesus who live on mission regardless of whether or not we live in our home culture or country. USMB, the C2C church planting network and MB Mission are together inviting us to be a faith community that is on One Mission—local, national and global. So, what does this mean for those of us who are not missionaries or evangelists? Who are not church planters or pastors? How do you and I live on mission? Where do we begin?
2 Timothy 1:5 provides an answer. In this verse, the apostle Paul recalls Timothy’s spiritual roots: “I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.”
For many of us, our immediate and best opportunity to live missionally is in our homes and with our families. One of the clearest callings of parents is to disciple their children. We should show the same energy, commitment and interest in discipling our children as we have demonstrated for their efforts in youth sports or music. Discipling our children is a life-long commitment and one that we as parents don’t “retire” from. We are in this for the long haul and we will pray for, support and encourage our children in their faith even as our relationships change over the years.
As we move through Lent and anticipate Easter Sunday, I invite you to prepare for a Resurrection Day of remembrance and celebration that is rooted in 2 Timothy 1:5. The faith of Lois and Eunice lived on in Timothy. Who planted and nurtured the seed of your faith? Who provided the care that allowed you to be rooted in the good news of Jesus? Who will you remember and celebrate? Hebrews 12 speaks of a “great cloud of witnesses” that surrounds us as we run the race of life. Who are your personal cheerleaders in that crowd?
We have all been blessed by men and women who disciple us, followers of Jesus who are “older” than us spiritually and who share their lives with us freely. For a lot of us, the people who have persevered in loving and nurturing us over the years are our parents and grandparents. For others of us, circumstances have caused us to look elsewhere for mentors. This Easter, let’s thank these people for the roles they play in our lives and celebrate that they are disciples who make disciples.