Our Music & Arts DTS team has had the opportunity to do discipleship by sitting and talking to college students that come to Chai316. Chai316 is a ministry in Bangalore that is minutes from a college campus. It seeks to create an environment where students can come and find peace over a cup of chai and have a safe place to ask questions about God.
Yes, 8 hours of sitting, waiting and talking every day may seem like a lot and somewhat boring,
especially when our hopes and expectations may have been that we need to go into the slums and evangelize to the poor and needy, but gaining God’s perspective and heart has changed my whole attitude for this ministry. God shifted my heart after just one day here in India.
The morning we arrived, after only a few hours of sleep, we were thrown immediately into ministry amidst jet-lag. Exhaustion was trying to take over and the last thing I wanted to do was sit and talk with people for 8 hours, but I needed to at least make the effort and push through. I was able to sit with a young man who seemed quiet and reserved. Slowly but surely he started sharing his story and how he is a seeker of wisdom and understanding. That the Bible changed his life. He grew up a pastor’s son, but he hadn’t really claimed his faith as his own. He started reading the Bible and gaining knowledge and understanding and wants to know everything there is to know about God.
The second day of ministry, He asked me what it means in the Bible when it says that David was a man after God’s own heart.
I told him that David earnestly sought to have a heart like God’s, that he was always realigning himself to be more like God. He told me that David is his inspiration, that he wants to be like him. He told me that he comes to Chai316 each day so that he won’t go off with his friends and make decisions he knows he shouldn’t. It is his safe place, away from distractions of the world. Each day he continues to come back, asks questions about the Bible, asks for prayer to stay strong in his faith, tells me of the big dreams he has to impact the Kingdom and that he wants so badly to please God.
And I’m able to encourage him, pray for him and ultimately disciple him.
My heart beats for discipleship and what better way to apply what I’ve learned in Lecture phase of my Discipleship Training School than DISCIPLING students that come to us each day searching for a greater understanding of God. I may think that it’s just sitting and chatting, but by taking a step back, gaining God’s perspective and His heart, I realize that a raw and authentic form of discipleship is taking place and it is such a beautiful thing to be a part of. The awkward, small-talk conversations are well worth it in the beginning when I start to see the light spark inside of these students and realize that it’s all about building relationships, encouraging and loving one another where they are at. I don’t take that for granted for a second.