Pouring In. Pouring Out.


Practicing the ministry of availability. Make yourself available. Life gains meaning when it stops being just about you and yours.

Look around your community and you’ll find Jesus-followers. The Bible calls these people “disciples.” They are learners and followers of Jesus.

Learners listen. Take notes. Some of them read. They get information about Jesus and what Christians should do. They show up in church and watch preachers on TV. Some might think they’re the backbone of the organized church. I’m not so sure.

Followers are different. They learn, but they actually try to live out what they’ve learned. To live like Jesus told them to. They try to model Jesus in their lives. Their faith isn’t “out there” . . . it’s “in here.” They initiate. They put principals into practice. They live examined lives and learn from their mistakes.

The church needs more learners to become followers.

Learners find it easy to become reservoirs and survive on the “living water” of Jesus. Followers are rivers that splash the love of Jesus over other people’s faces.

For years, preachers have been pouring into learners. Authors, teachers, conference speakers, Bible study and small group leaders . . . all pouring in.

But when does one start to “pour out?”

Become a Jesus follower and you can’t help but start “pouring out.”

      “…for the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” Luke 6:45b

Follow Jesus and your heart will fill with love, forgiveness, compassion, generosity and faith. Real faith is the antidote for worry, including worry about what people think of you. I knew about Jesus for 20 years, but it took following Him to find the courage to “go public” with my faith and start pouring out.

This blog exists to encourage learners to become followers. To take what’s been poured in and pour it out into the lives of people. It’s the second commandment. Right after loving God, it says to “love others as you love yourselves.”

Where to begin? Practicing the ministry of availability. Make yourself available to just one younger person outside your family. “Nobody your age ever calls me unless they want something,” a thirty-something tells me. Call a man younger than you and buy him coffee. Learn about him. Listen to his story. No agenda, just opening the door and becoming available. Life gains meaning when it stops being just about you and yours.

“I don’t think I have lived a single day of my life for the past several years in which I did not long to have a wise, gentle old guy standing close by for advice. I recognize that my life is especially complex, but I think we all need that,” says Wes Yoder in his book Bond of Brothers .

And if you’re ready to go even further, think about doing the same thing for a small group of guys. It’s less awkward and more productive. You can help multiple guys at one time. Plus, they can help each other.

It’s time to move from reservoir to river. From learner to follower. From selfish soaker to meaningful mentor. It all starts with a “yes” to making yourself available to guys less mature in their lives and their faith. And a "no" to sitting on your remote control.

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