Bottle Rockets and Discipleship

I am one of many coaches for the Jenison Jr. High Science Olympiad team this year. I get to coach the bottle rocket event. I am truly looking forward to spending time with Ethan working on this project. And, I am a little nervous and overwhelmed. I was reading up on Bottle Rocket design and trying to keep straight all sorts of different acronyms like CG, CLA, and CP along with other rocketry terms and equations for calculating where to put the fins and such. It is all a bit much. It feels a little like trying to take a drink from a fire hose, especially when I found some resources on line. Wow! People really care about making Bottle Rockets!

I imagine coming to church for someone who did not grow up in church can feel a bit like that, too. There are all sorts of words and phrases that don't seem to mean what we think or simply sound unfamiliar. Who else uses words like incarnation or atonement or propitiation and expiation (I am not sure I can explain the difference between those last two words easily either!). We talk about the Lord's Prayer, the Apostle's Creed, the Golden Rule, the 10 Commandments like people should know what these thing are. Most of those terms aren't known or used often by people outside of church. And none of this even addresses the bigger issues of how to follow Jesus and align your life with his commands in regards to money, marriage, parenting, sexuality, work, friendships, and so on. It can all feel like a bit much.

Thankfully, as the Bottle Rocket coach, I have been talking with last year's coach over the past few weeks and he has been sharing some pointers and explaining how things work. It's still a little overwhelming, but I know I have someone to help me out if I get confused or make a wrong turn.

I think new believers or people curious about Christianity probably need someone to show them the ropes, too. That's what discipleship really is. Simply showing someone what you know about following Jesus. You may not have all the answers. You may not get it all right. But, you can share what you have learned and point someone to the right resources. 

Who are you showing the ropes right now? How might you encourage someone in their journey with God, today? If you can't think of anyone, maybe a good way to start is by inviting someone to come to church with you Sunday to smile at the little kids in the program and show them a little of how you worship God.

   © zion reformed church 2012