Burst that Bubble: Why You Shouldn’t Do Discipleship in a Bubble

When I was asked to write this blog post, I started remembering a time, not so long ago, when I was in a bubble myself. I live in southern California, an area rich in diversity. I am surrounded by people of all walks of life and backgrounds. I was working alongside my people and for my people, my culture, La Raza, the Hispanic community. I thought it was ok, and our youth ministry was growing and becoming fruitful. We had awesome leaders and the plan was to continue serving our Lord. Then, my understanding of other youth groups was that they did not care for us; our group did not feel the need to connect because we did not feel welcome or equal in any way. The environment felt hostile, so we did not want our youth to experience that.

Today, I see how intimidated and insecure we were. We live in a mixed society, so it does not make sense to do discipleship in a bubble because we divide and exclude others. We deeply missed out on the talent and different gifts that the Lord has given His people. In my personal experience, it created division among different cultures. It has detained growth and unity among us to the point that when events were planned, no one wanted to attend or do ministry together.

We need to include everyone when we do discipleship. In some cases, I know that language divides us, but even then, if we welcome people, language will not stop us. In John 13:34-35, Jesus speaks this amazing scripture: “So now I am giving you a new commandment: love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples” (NLT). The word “love” speaks to us and tells us to take action toward relationships.

Today, I rejoice in being a part of an awesome team, a new team that has respect for one another. We are a team that dreams and creates ideas that can be more inviting, to create a church culture that makes all people feel welcome. This is evidence that God is moving in our hearts. With God’s help, we are trying to paint a picture of what heaven will look like with all people in it.Discipleship in a bubble is a hard mold to break, but with God’s help let us act, let’s burst those bubbles! We can welcome all people into discipleship, creating a new generation of Christians that announces the kingdom of God and brings love  and light to this dark world.

Ernesto Rivas
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