BBQ and Discipleship

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  • July 05, 2013

Like everyone else in America, we spent part of yesterday in a backyard around a barbecue. One of Shainu’s favorite parts of living in a home (versus an apartment) is the ability to host people at our house. Shibu was one of the folks who came over. If you don’t know, Shibu cooks a mean BBQ. He’s not playing around. And in many ways, I’ve come to see myself as his barbecue apprentice. Whenever Shibu’s by a grill, I’m there. Watching. Learning. Asking. For example, I’ve noticed that he doesn’t cook with gas grills, he uses a Weber. He doesn’t use briquettes. He prefers lump charcoal. He wouldn’t be caught dead with lighter fluid. He uses a chimney starter. And he certainly doesn’t cook store bought burgers; he makes his own from scratch.

When he’s cooking, I’m asking lots of questions. “How long did you cook that burger?” “When did you know to flip it?” “How do you know the difference between rare and medium well?”

And then will come the moment when he hands me the spatula or the tongs. It’s a big deal because now I’m supposed to do what I’ve seen him do.

Being around him yesterday (we were hosting but he basically cooked everything), I was reminded of discipleship. That’s an important word at Seven Mile Road. We are to be disciples who make disciples who make disciples. And when we look at how Jesus made disciples, it was a lot like how Shibu is teaching me to grill. Jesus invited his disciples to watch and learn from him. When He prayed, they watched and learned. When He cast out demons, they watched and learned. When He taught, they watched and learned. And along the way, they asked lots of questions too. “How do you pray?” “Why weren’t we able to cast out that demon?” “Why do you use parables when you talk to people?”

And after three years of being with Him, watching, learning, asking, the moment came when He handed them His mission and they were supposed to do with others what they had seen Him do with them.

That’s our call. We’re called to make disciples. And while that can be intimidating (Who am I to disciple anyone? How do I disciple someone anyway?), some of it comes down to following Jesus with someone and allowing your imperfect-but-sincerely-following-Jesus life to rub off on theirs. And then their imperfect-but-sincerely-following-Jesus life will rub off on someone. And on and on it goes. Disciples who make disciples who make disciples. Like the way I now tell everyone that the only way to grill is to cook homemade burgers on a Weber grill with lump charcoal lit by a chimney starter.

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Creative Commons Image Attribution: nickcartwright

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About Ajay Thomas

Ajay lives in Philadelphia with his wife Shainu and their kids Hannah and Micah. He is responsible for preaching and vision as a pastor at Seven Mile Road. He loves God, family, food, and football – in that order.

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