You might have noticed I took spring break off I hope you have been able to get some rest too! But now that we’re back I have a quick but very important question: Did you have any coffee appointments this week? Or, any chats at the dinner table that lasted long after dinner was over? How did they go? Did they end with you feeling grimy, trying to crawl out of a hole you dug yourself with gossip or complaining? Or, did they end with you finding the silver-lining in the difficult things you are going through? Could you genuinely praise God for what he is doing in that other persons life?
To me the later is discipleship, being friends and being there offering what you know about life and God’s faithfulness through it is discipleship.
This weekend I’m introducing to you another gal whom I have had the incredible privilege of walking through life with. Rose is 27 and currently living in Spokane, Washington, as she moved there as part of a church plant team from Nampa, Idaho. Honestly, my goal is to make her laugh any time we talk whether it’s about boys or basketball. I just love this girls laugh.
My friends, here to answer six discipleship analysis questions is Rose Remick.
1. In your experience (working with me, being friends with me and having me invest into you) why is discipleship so important?
To me, my relationship with you became important because I knew I always had someone who “had my back.” With my background of divorced parents, moved in the middle of high school, and struggled with certain insecurities knowing I had someone in my corner to help me with every day practical things whether involving God, friend’s, etc. For example, my first experience with you intentionally pouring into me I was around 13 or 14. You took me to coffee and somehow we got on the subject of these girls I was having a hard time with on my basketball team. I don’t remember all the details but we spent our time talking about how to respond to the girls, how to work through my bruised self esteem, and practical ways to handle that situation. Nothing was to “churchy” or “holy.” I have tons of stories similar to that one that follow me and the story of our relationship as I grew up and experienced different things. So, with consistent discipleship I was able to get comfortable with you to open up and have someone other than my friends give me a mature, loving point of view that gave me ideas to ponder on how to approach my every day life successfully.
2. How is “doing life” or being friends with a mentor beneficial to the one being invested in?
I think being friends with a mentor makes room for comfort and trust to bloom. I’ve experienced mentor relationships where it feels like a business exchange. You come in, share your three areas of concern, they advise, and then you’re done. For me, I was able to get comfortable with you and let you see me and my personality. I felt that it helped you learn who I was too (quirks, personality type, humor, etc). I even felt that you were able to show me by example how to maneuver normal life as a woman (self-esteem, insecurities, good days, bad days). I always think back to all the times I came over, had dinner, and would just chill on the couch and watch TV with you and Trev. We would relax, talk, laugh, whatever. I could see how you would interact with your husband, or hear your thoughts about things, and really the whole time I was being shaped and molded.
Most importantly our friendship made me feel like you truly cared for me. That our mentor relationship wasn’t something you were doing to just fulfill a pastoral role.
3. What does systematic discipleship do for you? (Like a weekly or bi-weekly conversations, etc.)
I remember there was a season in our friendship that we would touch base systematically. At that time I think I was trying to figure out how to handle a friendship with a guy I had a crush on, haha! I’m sure there were a couple other major things I was trying to work through too. Anyways, I was able to talk with you, go over what I was thinking, struggling with, and then you’d share ways to work through (x, y, z). I’d walk away and be able to practice, and try it out, or baby step it, knowing I’d have a set time to touch base again and reevaluate my next step, or new thoughts I realized I was struggling with. So it gave me a season to be “baby stepped” (for a lack of better words) into potential big change in my thoughts and life. What I liked with you in those seasons is you were open and honest with your communication on your thoughts on how long the systematic season should last so it didn’t turn into a crutch. With that extra bit of honest communication it reaffirmed that I could trust you and your motives.
4. What does spontaneous discipleship do for you? (Like the one off, 911 moments & unplanned funny moments or coffee trips)
Spontaneous discipleship helps me get through life! Who doesn’t feel like they’re in a 911 life emergency and need someone to talk it through with? I think of this as being in a season when I’m trying to figure life out on my own (and with God of course), not in regular “touch base” meetings, and I find myself against a road block. A last minute coffee date or phone call always helped me navigate an issue and keep moving forward. We’ve probably had countless times you’ve been available for a 9pm phone call where I started the call off in tears and ended it with laughter. These were the moments I knew you were in it for the long haul.
I feel as though discipleship is the most effective when there is a deep, genuine trust between the two people. When deep, heart conversations are blended with coffee dates, invites to dinner and chill on your couch after, or conversations about how to not wash your hair every day, a beautiful relationship can blossom from that. Both the mentor and the mentee can step back and breathe a sigh of deep fulfillment. Who doesn’t love doing life with someone regardless of which role you’re in.
5. In your own words can you describe discipleship and our friendship. Is it weird? If so why? If not? Why? How can we avoid weirdness in our friendship?
I’ve never felt our relationship was weird. Which is pretty impressive after doing life together in some way, shape, or form for 13 years. Honestly, when a discipleship/friendship is weird you know it and can feel it. At least in my experience, a large majority of the cause might boil down to one or both parties not being real. One of them may be trying to portray themselves in a way they think may be accepted or approved of. While understanding it’s hard to keep that out of a discipleship relationship, friendship, or anything involving another human. Regarding you and I, I felt like you stayed true to yourself and let me in on seeing you grow as the years went on (as much that was appropriate and beneficial). That immediately set the ground work for me to be myself. I knew we could talk about God, Church, bad attitudes, or insecurities. But typically in the same setting still talk about boys, celebrities, and hair. As the mentor, I felt from you that you didn’t expect yourself to be perfect or to have an answer to everything. Instead, you were there to listen, encourage, and give whatever you had to give. That is a recipe for a safe space.
6. Can you share all or a part of your testimony? How has my influence in your life helped you get to where you are now?
I was one of those kids that grew up in a Christian home, believed in God because I had experienced him at a young age, then I hit my early teen years. I did what I wanted while perfecting how to hide and keep people out of my secrets. Before you know it I found myself at summer camp. Ironically, I knew I NEEDED to go. I think I was tired of feeling so much shame because of some of the things I was still doing. I was desperate to find a way out. Even though I had experienced God before and grew up in church it was that summer, when I was 13 or 14, that I knew I wanted to live my life with God. In the same way someone needs a mentor, I knew I needed God to help me. This is also when I met Stephanie!
I’d like to say this is when I turned my back on all the crazy things a teenager does and never looked back. But let’s be real, I’m a human, and to this day I still totally biff it. But I’ve always known I could never walk away from this indescribable love that I experience from God. I’m 27 now and have walked through all different types of seasons of life. From turning around so my back faced everyone while I prayed over the microphone at that summer camp. To moving to a different high school just 6 months later. Then joining an intern program at that same church because I didn’t know what to do with my life. Learning how to pray out loud because I was growing confident in hearing God’s voice. Then moving to Africa for three months to serve at a church there. Coming home and making a lot of big changes so I could help my home church with that same intern program I joined a few years prior. Then moving to another state, growing up, and leaving everything I knew that was comfortable because it was the next step God pointed me in.
Don’t get me wrong, with all of those “cool” life events and exciting seasons I was still this sassy red head that still liked to do what I want. I had to figure out what kind of young lady I wanted to be around those cute boys at school or church. What to do when I had a giant crush on someone. I had to let God show me how to forgive my dad who was never around since the time I was 6 months old. I experienced heart ache in friendships, hurt feelings towards pastors, and getting totally behind in homework while I was interning. I still hid when I felt shame, lied when I thought I was doing something wrong, and am pretty sure I hurt peoples’ feelings along the way. But, I never quit because that deep love God has for me never quit either.
And you know what helped me through every single season? Someone who saw me and believed in me. And that was Stephanie. I was just a girl that was trying to figure out how to do life. I needed someone to put their arm through mine and walk through it with me.
Stephanie and I have talked about boys, our skin care routines, prayer, the Kardashians, how to study the Bible, and a million other things. She invited me out for coffee, drove me home when I lived 30 min outside of town, invited me over for Christmas, to watch TV, or to help her with projects at the church.
Discipleship doesn’t have to be complicated. You’re just inviting someone who wants to be seen and loved into your life. They’ll see the good and the bad, but that’s when they’ll see Jesus. I know that because that’s my story.
There are so many good one liners, from Rose’s story, I hope you were encouraged to continue investing in others.
Now, let me be honest, I didn’t ask some of my girls to write about how awesome I am, I asked the girls to write about how much they valued that someone saw them, spent time with them, and stuck with them through it all. I hope as you are reading these, you see yourself or someone you are investing in. Take their words and let them inspire you to invest again in someone else’s life. You’ll look back at all God has done and think WOW! how time flies!
I’m wrapping up the the Discipleship Analysis series next weekend! I hope you’ll join me. Then a Leaders Only Easter message to follow that I have been waiting to share for 11 months! See you then my friends!
P.S. Anyone else want milkshake and tank top weather to be here yet? Yes, please!