When I got my first ever drivers license on November 30 I had no idea that a couple of months down the line I would be providing a taxi service for people I’d never met driving back and forth, all over town, on a regular basis. I started working at New Creations Inn towards the end of February and one of the shared responsibilities that I picked up was taking clients to various appointments and errands that they needed to run. I didn’t even know where the gear shifter was at first. On one occasion, with a minivan full of passengers, I delighted in telling them that I was new to driving. The humorous chaos that ensued involved most people wanting to immediately get out of the van—an option which I was more than happy to offer them.
Some afternoons felt busy and hectic as they got filled up with rides, leaving little time for the ‘real’ work that happens at a desk. But I soon came to realize that it was through these shared times in the white van that I got to know the clients. It provided a time and space for catching up, talking about the mundane, venting, unpicking difficult situations, opening up, shedding tears, seeking counsel, and every other aspect of a healthy relationship (as well as some aspects of unhealthy ones). Essentially, it was a vehicle for discipleship.
Sometimes we think of discipleship as something that happens in a classroom or in a small group following a particular curriculum. And I love being involved in that type of learning. But what if we can use the mundane things of our everyday lives for the purpose of making disciples? If we look at the grammar used in the Great Commission (and yes, I’m one of those strange people who likes grammar) we find that the command is “disciple” or “make disciples” and the word before it is an ongoing action. So effectively Jesus says, “as you go make disciples.” Make followers and learners of Jesus on the go wherever it is that you are going! The ‘real’ work, according to the Great Commission, is to disciple whether we are in the van or at the desk.
Now, this is an aspirational post as I realize that there have been rides where we’ve spent the whole time quoting lines from comedy shows rather than talking about Jesus (although laughter plays an important role in recovery), and there are other times when I just don’t know what to say at all. However, I would like to carry on being intentional about what has already started to happen accidentally, discipling through the mundane, as I go, wherever I go, at NCI or elsewhere.
Where are you going? Who are you discipling?
Ainhoa Prieto Wagenfuhr is the Care Co-ordinator at New Creations Inn.
She also helps Restoring Hope with childcare, and can be found cooking and visiting in the shelter with members of her congregation, the United Presbyterian Church.