"Go and make disciples ... teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you."
My wife is a high school art teacher. Sometimes she receives notes from students thanking her for teaching them not only about art but also about life and faith. Those encouragements make up for times when teaching is a lot of hard work!
Teaching happens in many different ways. That's also true as we try to understand our mission as teachers. Jesus was the master teacher in making disciples. Brian McLaren, in a book on disciple-making titled More Ready Than You Realize, suggests several ways we can teach through our relationships and friendships:
Listen to their story. You can learn a lot about people by listening. Show interest in them by asking questions. When appropriate, ask about their spiritual background.
Share your story. Tell people what's going on in your life these days. One natural way to deepen a friendship is to say, "Sometime, if you're interested, I can tell you about my own spiritual journey."
Tell God's story. Use the Bible's stories and teaching to gently season a conversation.
Invite, bring, and include. Invite people to church, to a small group, or to a social gathering of friends who share the Christian faith.
Thankfully none of this involves adding more to our busy lives; it's just part of who we are in Christ.
Lord, help me bring before you the people you have placed in my life. Use my life and my words to help people follow you and experience new life in you. In your name, Amen.
See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!