The Osmosis Discipleship Method

IMG_1448Being in the ministry you sometimes have be a counselor or a mentor, sometimes a parent or a teacher, sometimes a lawyer or a doctor, sometimes an entertainer or a poet, and many times a friend. I know I haven’t listed everything; you may have a long list of your own.

This blog is not a scientific paper, what I know of osmosis is less than what a 5th grader would know about osmosis. Webster defines it in the most simplest terms: osmosis is the biology: the process that causes a liquid (especially water) to pass through the wall of a living cell

:an ability to learn and understand things gradually

Over the past 8 years God has given Chuck & I the amazing opportunity to be life-coaches and when we first began this journey we didn’t really have a clue as to how to do this:

Let me take a moment here to share some insight into our past and who we are and what I believe about education.  I was raised in a big family with lots of love and laughter as well as our own adversities. Years ago while watching the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, during the scene where she is telling her fiancé she had 21 first cousins; she was being very dramatic as if that were a huge ordeal, I stopped and thought I think I have almost that many cousins and I know for sure my mom and dad each have that many first cousins. My mom is the oldest of 6; her mother is the oldest girl of 13; my dad is the oldest of 4 and his mother is somewhere in the mix of 7. I also grew up next door to my aunt & Uncle (dad’s brother) and his wife who was very close to my mom, more like another sister than sister in law, and she is the youngest of 12. There were so many people in my family milling around that I didn’t know who was who.

My grand-parents had a place, we called it the farm and for awhile it was their weekend get away but eventually became their home.  There was a pond, and a pool, horses, and dirt bikes so going to grandma & grandpa’s house was like going on vacation. We didn’t have sit around the kitchen table discussions we had during playtime discussions. While out in the pool or the pond or sitting by the beach or riding a horse in the woods; finding an old house and going in to discover what treasures were still inside these were life lessons that I still glean from.

My daddy owned his own business he was a mechanic and a nascar owner/driver. My summers were spent sitting in the office of his garage or playing with old carburetors taking them apart or watching him work. I learned so much about the ins and outs of running a business, useful tools that I use in my own ministry today. When we first started our ministry I just knew how to keep records for the IRS, I can’t tell you where I learned this except all those days sitting with my mom while she worked taking care of my fathers books and the office.

Though I knew there was love in my family we never sat down and discussed our feelings we are more let’s confront the issue with humor and push the other stuff under the rug. At least from my vantage point and most of this came from my parents always having a heart to protect us from the negative side of life that they had to confront head on at a young age.

Chuck’s family on the other hand had lots of communication. Since I have been married to him they have never had a problem discussing any issue and many times I have squirmed and didn’t want to be in the same room when they were talking through some stuff. In the earlier part of our ministry we did ministry with Chuck’s brother and his wife so some things that I would consider personal; finances or arguments were discussed at the dinner table with Chucks family.  Being in the ministry and traveling together makes life very intimate, you learn a lot about each other and some of those discussions were good and some I wish had been left just between the four of us. During this time we learned about boundaries and I personally learned that discussion was a good thing and to find my own voice in the mix.

My formal education was graduating from high school; I then went on to a technical college to train to go into cosmetology. I worked for several years in Atlanta at a salon and was introduced to the fashion industry beginning to enter into the realm of modeling & wanting to become an actress.

Chuck was raised doing music. Chuck cannot read music and has never been formally trained in music. He dropped out of high school to travel and play and later went back to get his GED and went on to take college courses to become a photographer.

I add this in because Chuck & I both come from families that are smart, hard working individuals (I like to call them creatives) that learn differently. Our society is becoming so diploma driven….terms such as bachelors, masters, associates degrees have more influence in our culture than what an individual actually knows or the wisdom they carry. I am not anti-education in fact quiet the opposite. I am all about many different forms of education and valuing the art of learning over the piece of paper hanging on a wall. What has happened to the apprenticeship model?

I became a Christian; I mean totally sold out on fire follow Jesus to the ends of the earth and beyond Christian, when I was 22 years old. I met and married Chuck within that same year and we started building a life together. I only add this because this was the mark in my life where training began in what God is using me in now.  When I first became a Christian I couldn’t get enough of reading my bible. I had my daily devotion time with the Lord and searched for books that I could read about growing as a Christian.

Fast forward a few years and we now have 2 children; we’ve come to the stage in life where we are making the decisions on the “how’s” & the “what’s” of our children’s education. Homeschooling was becoming a big movement and during my girls first few years I was too afraid to teach them myself because of my lack of training, so we enrolled them into Christian school. The changes in them were crazy, even in a Christian school environment I started to see that our influence was diminished. That bothered me but that was not the reason we decided to homeschool. Chuck & I decided to begin our own ministry journey away from his brother & sister-in-law. We started traveling more together as a family and my own ministry was being to be birthed that it just made sense to take the girls out of school and homeschool them while on the road.

Being a homeschool mom taught me so many lessons. But most of all it taught me how to disciple.

I give you all this back information to give you some insight into the fact that Chuck & I had no formal training on the duties that we are called to function in on a daily basis.

I mark my journey at my salvation experience because this was the time frame when I started to pursue a relationship with God and learned to listen to his voice daily; to follow His leading in my life.

I love the music group the Eagles recently while watching their documentary “The history of the Eagles”; Joe Walsh quoted an ancient philosopher, “that life sometimes seems like random chaotic events crashing into each other and at times you can feel as if you are crashing into one thing and smashing into another but when you look back, it is as if it were a finely crafted piece of art work put together.”  This is how I feel about following the leading of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes (not all the time) when I am placed with academics they cannot relate to creatives because the way we learn is so random. And creatives can’t relate to academics because we don’t really have the labels to tell you the why behind what we do.

So for me discipleship is much like the osmosis effect.

Jesus said: “Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.’”

Osmosis happens in water.  Over time the liquid permeating into cells, causing something to be transformed by the water and the conditions in the water.

God using me to be the vessel of whom I am just to change another’s life. In the community we life-coach in we use terms such, as “doing life together” and I really love this term because that is how I teach; just by doing life together.

When Chuck was a little boy he had a note sent home from school when he failed a music class saying, “has no musical ability.”  Thankfully his parents did not let that become his reality. They took him under their wing and started a family band.

I love the idea of the osmosis effect in discipleship because it is not one thing, but a variable of things that is making the change happen. In World Race culture or even in everyday life culture it isn’t one person or one event that makes us change to “become” or to walk into our destiny, but it is the mixture of life; God working through us all and in us all. Discipleship is about us discipling another as God disciples us. As God opens doors in our life we open those doors for others.

God showed me many years ago that when I minister to individuals I usually am ministering to myself. When I did children’s ministry I am giving back to that little girl that was lost and afraid and needed someone to show her truth.

Yes we need tools and I am so thankful for the academics in this world that can put titles or labels on what we do, but we also need creatives that are not afraid to step out and just sit in the water and let life change us on the most basic level. We are just the vessel that God is choosing to be Christ into the world. Scripture says that it is Christ in me the hope of glory; so it is not about Selena or Selena’s skill sets, but it is about Selena being the conduit using my skill sets & weaknesses to facilitate what God is ultimately wanting to accomplish in each individual He brings into my path. By listening to the holy spirit, he guides me, and then by leading and living it out in example he uses me to show what it looks like to live as Christ in the earth today. Whether it be counselor, mentor, parent, teacher, lawyer, entertainer or something on your list…Christ has many looks; by osmosis we all are painting a picture of God’s DNA into the world so that when someone is desperately looking for Him and they see you they will run to Him and jump in the water to be changed.

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