“Now that same day two of them were on their way to a village called Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. Together they were discussing everything that had taken place. And while they were discussing and arguing, Jesus himself came near and began to walk along with them.”
Luke 24:13–15 CBS
I sat across the table from her at a local Chinese restaurant, strangers eager to get to know each other. I was the new associate pastor on staff, and though it wasn’t part of my job description to meet with the young adults in our congregation, she seemed hungry for connection and care.
Over shared plates of noodles and savory meats, I asked about her life and what it was like growing up at the church. She opened up about her family, how she had been raised by a single parent, and the hurts—even traumas—she had received from pastors and fellow youth group students in the past. She didn’t know how to feel about church, but she was curious and perhaps even a tinge hopeful that things could be different with the younger pastors who had come on board recently.
I met with her and many others over the first year of my time on staff, trying to get a pulse for what God was doing, what the ministry and the congregation needed, and how I was to invest in the people who were hungry and ready to be discipled.
I was new to ministry and had seen leaders of the church I grew up in only use programs and curricula they found in mainstream ministries to “do” discipleship. But those didn’t fit the culture of our city and the people who were in our community, so I did what I knew how to do: feed people and create a safe place for them to be.
Once my husband and I were ready to buy a home, we discussed what we wanted most out of it, and we both agreed that the most important thing would be an open space where people could gather comfortably. We imagined hosting small groups and movie nights, Friendsgivings and Christmas parties, and when we did find the right house, that’s exactly what we got to do. But more than those big get-togethers, I realize now that discipleship happened most at our dinner table.
Food was always a sure way to ease into conversations where I could share what I saw God doing in someone’s life, guide them when they needed it, and be there for them when they ached for a place to belong. I walked with them through family issues, church frustrations, and relationship sorrows and joys. I didn’t follow a program or even read books together with them, but it was at the dinner table that our eyes were opened to see God.
The story in Luke 24:13–15 about the two disciples walking to Emmaus is such a clear picture of what discipleship looks like. Discipleship is coming alongside one another, sharing life and its struggles, and pointing one another to Jesus—our Hope, our Answer, and our God. He showed us the way on the road to Emmaus, and we can follow in His footsteps.
by Grace P. Cho, as published in Courageous Influence: Embrace the Way God Made You for Impact
This devotion is from our Bible Study Courageous Influence: Embrace the Way God Made You for Impact, written by Grace P. Cho and featuring stories from our (in)courage contributors. The world tells you that your influence only reaches as far as your social media followers. But the Bible shows you how God can use you right where you are to be an influence for the kingdom. Turn the idea of influence on its head and become the courageous woman of influence God calls us to be — get a free week and learn more from the Courageous Influence Bible Study!Leave a Comment