archery-660632_1280“Take care of your gear and it will take care of you.” My father in law still preaches that idea whenever he talks about anything mechanical. A mechanic by trade and a detailed man by design, God made my father in law Earl to be a real technician and a man I deeply respect. He would always model for me how important it is to pay close attention to the details. I am poor at keeping an eye on the most detailed things in life. My wonderful wife refers to me as “the big picture guy.”

Over the last few weeks I have been writing about the essentials that we need in the church to maintain a sharp focus on disciple making. We need detailed guardrails to ensure that we remain on the road that leads us to being effective disciple makers in our churches. We must continue to maintain our course and not lose our focus.

Several years ago I took a guy (I will refer to him as Joe) elk hunting. It was a favor to another friend to take him hunting. Before the trip I called Joe and we agreed on a place to meet and the location we were going. I made several assumptions about Joe that would later teach me some great life lessons.

Joe and I met at 3:30 am at a nearby gas station and set out to go on our elk hunt. We chit chatted on the way and he told me of his previous hunting exploits. He used words and phrases that raised some red flags for an experienced hunter like me. Bottom line, I was starting to think he actually had no idea how to hunt and I was going to be in for a circus of a day.

When we arrived and began to unload our gear I noticed that several things were wrong with his gear. The bowstring was very frayed and his quiver looked broken and in poor condition. The second thing I noticed was the cheap tennis shoes he was wearing. This alarmed me, because I knew the chance of rain was high that day and North Idaho mountains + rain + hiking + cheap tennis shoes = BAD DAY!

Sure enough, within a few hours we had elk around us and Joe had a perfect chance for a shot. I had called the elk in close, but he was unprepared. When he did finally draw, a portion of his string broke. His equipment failed, the elk ran and my blood pressure was high enough to cause a stroke. Joe’s poor attention to important details, lack of preparation and improper care for his gear failed the hunt. I made a mental note to do everything in my power to avoid any hunt like this in the future.

Our day went downhill from there. The rain began to pour from the sky and we had a mile to hike out. Joe slipped and fell more times than I can count, and in the process he finished off his half broken quiver. I bet the pieces of it are still on that hillside today.

Take care of your gear and it will take care of you. As Christians we are called to go and make disciples. We are also called to “be” a disciple. That means we need to know our equipment…our Bibles. We are to be prepared and ready for what life might throw at us. We must live out the essentials of being a disciple and know how to go into the world and make disciples:

  1. Abide in Christ
  2. Reach the Lost
  3. Chase the Strays
  4. Connect the Unconnected
  5. Shepherd Toward Spiritual Maturity
  6. Equip and Release Leaders
  7. Function as a Team

Are you taking care of your equipment so that if God called you to disciple a friend, neighbor or co worker you would be ready for the task? Be ready everyone, a successful journey with Jesus depends on it.

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