Failure – part of our discipleship path


What do you do when you have a strong desire to pursue your passion and  bless your service audience but, after presenting to them your proposal, they do not respond in the way you were expecting? Well, then you can do two things: learn about your real spiritual condition, and witness Him transforming you. After all, in this life we are never done with our Spiritual Transformation. We have to cultivate and be cultivated constantly, and failure is a very good tool for that..



Passion: Teaching chess * Service Audience: Parents of elementary school students * Fuel Element: The Process (Cultivate constantly) * Type: R&D


At the beginning of the year I sensed God was directing me to revive one of the ways we used to serve our community, when we first moved here: teaching chess to elementary school students. A while back we even had a chess club, official member of the US Chess Federation. Back in 2016 I decided that I would not be pursuing this passion of mine (teaching chess to kids), but instead I would try to focus on serving adults, pursuing my passion for coaching and mentoring.


But with God again bringing teaching chess to my attention, I decided to follow His guidance and give it another try. This time, besides using the usual means to advertise our club, I ran a Facebook ad campaign and connected with two social organizations who are already serving our community.


And it worked!


After six days of running this campaign, I had 12 parents saying they were interested in chess lessons for their kids.


To me, that was a clear indication that God was in this .


When I asked the parents to come to an information meeting – the first requirement to register their kids in our club – only four of them said they would come. The day of the meeting there was no one there but my wife and I.


From 12 to 4 to 0.


What happened? This time things were going very well: I had the first 12 lessons planned, I was using new ways to communicate more effectively with parents, and the overall quality level and formality were higher than in previous instances of The Gwinnett Chess Co.


Why did it fail, then?


And more importantly, at least for me, was the question of what to do next.


Serving people in a setting that is culturally diverse is like this; results like this are very common (the norm?) when we are trying to make disciples among the nations. And it is in this context that we must be very careful in the way we respond. We don’t want to throw the towel, believing that cultural differences are insurmountable – the Good News are still powerful! At the same time, we do not want to be stubborn and, without considering the response, continue blindly with our original plan.


If we remember that we need to be constantly cultivated to follow Christ in humility, if we remember that God the Holy Spirit must work in us persistently in the restoration of our heart, if we remember that we will never reach a finish line – not on this life – in our own discipleship path, then we will understand that failure could be used by Him as He makes us more and more like Jesus our Lord.




He can use failure to:

  1. Show us what is really in our heart. The way we react to things not going the way we want them can point us to our own idols and desires.
  2. SHow us His work in us. After the disappointment, if we still want to pursue our passion for His glory and the benefit of others, if we still have a desire to see Him changing human hearts through us, then we are witnessing Him transforming us.


Don’t be discouraged for too long. Ask Him to expose your idolatry and then, with Him working in you and through you, press on.



Call to Action

Consider your last failure to bless others and honor Him. What did you learn about you and about Him through that experience? Share!


Remember His grace, Follow Him in humility, Cultivate constantly, All in cultural diversity.




Is discipleship working? Here is how to know



We invest resources in discipleship because we know this is our call. We really want to see meaningful Spiritual Transformation in our own heart, and in those who are around us: family, friends, community. So, we labor and work hard in preaching, teaching, sharing, being vulnerable, pursuing community, disciplining.

But… How do we know all this is working? How do we know if we are witnessing the work of God the Holy Spirit? How do we know is not just the result of human effort?

Here is how.


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We are never done – Podcast e2

The work never ends. Neither His presence with us.


The temptation to ‘be done’ with discipleship is very high. And this expectation of producing mature followers of Christ in a specific length of time can be very frustrating, specially when serving in a cultural diverse setting. We must remember that He will never be completely done with us, as long as we remain here. But, one day, He will be. He will finish. He will win. Totally.

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Is He still at work? Look at your own heart.



It’s great to see people responding to our efforts to be a blessing to them, especially when they are different than us; that is one of the thrills of making disciples in a culturally diverse setting. But do not forget: As disciple-makers we also need to be cultivated as humble followers of Jesus Christ. Look at His work of restoration in your own heart, and do not be distracted by human metrics of ministry success. #hispanic #discipleship #howto #metrics

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Should I be having fun, when making disciples?


Ever had the feeling that you are having way to much fun, while making disciples? I really hope so! Making disciples, specially among Hispanic Americans, is supposed to happen at the intersection of real life and eternal truths. And if you are pursuing your passion / area of interest, while factoring in that glory that is to come, then you should be having some fun.

It’s good for you – the disciple-maker – to see that what the Spirit has allowed you to believe, really applies to daily life.

#discipleship #how #hispanic #lifecoaching #fun #satisfaction

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Worship service – the forgotten way to make disciples?


I’m getting ready for worship, this Sunday morning. I can tell you the sermon, humanly speaking, it’s nothing to write home about.

But He reminds me that even with all limitations and shortcomings – in me, the preacher, and in us, the congregation – He is still faithful, and He is cultivating my heart.

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Don’t be too eager to start making disciples


Before launching your ministry to make disciples, take advantage of a season of prayer. This is good for your own heart, and may provide another opportunity to learn more about those you want to serve. #hispanic #discipleship #how #myownheart #prayer

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Don’t be authentic


I’m not really against modern methods of discipleship, but recently I’ve been reminded of the power of Scripture to cultivate the heart.

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How to know if you are ready to make disciples


Even now, after all these years following Christ, and being in full time ministry, very often I question my ability to make disciples.

Fear comes, quick and strong. Doubts show after every missed goal. And I wonder.

It’s with the answers to these questions, that He allows me to retake my footing. They are a reminder of the true nature of disciple-making.

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