Disciple is Spelled With an “F”: A Diagnostic Rap For Those Engaged In Ministry

This month Dr. Foley and I celebrate the college graduations of our two youngest children, both of whom will be headed to seminary in the US this fall after interning with Voice of the Martyrs Korea over the summer.

Typically it is the role of parents to say wise things to their children in such situations, especially if the parents are long-time ministry leaders. However, in this case Dr. Foley and I were delighted to be schooled by our youngest son, Trevor, who wrote the following rap for the graduating seniors awards chapel service at Nazarene Bible College (or NBC, as Trev refers to it in his rap). I had the opportunity to be there in person to hear him share it, and what was most noteworthy is that it was preceded by earnest classmate after earnest classmate pledging to serve Christ to the ends of the earth following graduation.

Trevor’s message: Before booking your flight to the ends of the earth, pause for a moment (or several years) and make sure that your first church, your family, receives the benefit of your discipleship.

Discipleship, after all, is spelled with an “F”—for family—or as Christoph Cardinal Schoenborn puts it, “The most beautiful thing that can happen is when your own family grows to be a part of Jesus’ family. This can often be a painful process that occurs only by way of repentance and conversion, in which fleshly, natural family ties become something new through faith.”

Or as Trevor Foley puts it: Don’t miss the discipleship trees for the forest. Trev, may the Lord bless you and your sister as you head to the ends of the earth in service to Christ. You are two of the finest trees any forest could ask for.

Trees for the Forest
Trevor Foley

1 Timothy 3:5 states, “if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?’

(Refrain)
My friends, don’t overlook what’s more important
You might be missing the trees for the fores

  1. Started off at NBC, got enrolled
    Pastoral ministries degree? Oh, you’re sold.
    You set a goal to preach the most bold
    But neglect to preach to your own household?
    (Refrain)
  1. Pursuing a degree in counseling
    Or if theology is what you’re pondering
    Sights set globally, Sights set yonder
    Chase the lost sheep and let your household wander?
    (Refrain)
  1. And to my friends who are graduating with me
    All ready to line up, and get our degrees
    Have you neglected to disciple your household?
    Never set a regular time for worship at home?
    Was reading scripture central? Or problematic?
    Did you think discipleship was automatic?
    Did you endeavor to pray together with your family?
    Or did you forget discipleship happens manually?
    (Refrain)

About Pastor Foley

The Reverend Dr. Eric Foley is CEO and Co-Founder, with his wife Dr. Hyun Sook Foley, of Voice of the Martyrs Korea, supporting the work of persecuted Christians in North Korea and around the world and spreading their discipleship practices worldwide. He is also the International Ambassador for the International Christian Association, the global fellowship of Voice of the Martyrs sister ministries. Pastor Foley is a much sought after speaker, analyst, and project consultant on the North Korean underground church, North Korean defectors, and underground church discipleship. He and Dr. Foley oversee a far-flung staff across Asia that is working to help North Koreans and Christians everywhere grow to fullness in Christ. He earned the Doctor of Management at Case Western Reserve University's Weatherhead School of Management in Cleveland, Ohio.
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2 Responses to Disciple is Spelled With an “F”: A Diagnostic Rap For Those Engaged In Ministry

  1. Linda says:

    Yes, we will preach to our own household, Trevor!

  2. Poppy Jasper says:

    Love it! It has been great having Trevor join us for the last few months on our monthly .W conference call. He has a good perspective on things. I will be praying for him and Maggie as they intern this summer. :>}

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