The Come and Go of Discipleship


I’m told of a convenience store chain in parts of the Midwest that goes by the name “Kum and Go”.  Clever in that this seems to be the very nature of that business.  You come, get what you need – be that gasoline, food, a restroom break – and then you go on your way.  Come and go.  Get it?

This is a phrase I have used over the years when it comes to preaching and teaching about discipleship – “the come and go of discipleship”.   By this I mean that in becoming a disciple of Jesus we respond to his invitation to “come”.

  • Come and follow.
  • Come and see.
  • Come and believe.
  • Come to me all who are weary and burdened.

Over and over again Jesus invites us to come.  As we respond to his call to discipleship, we enter into a life of learning to be with Jesus so that we can become more like Jesus.But no sooner have we come to align our life with Jesus, confessing faith in him as Savior and Lord, but what he then says to us “go”.

  • Go and serve
  • Go forth as laborers into the harvest fields
  • Go and proclaim the good news
  • Go and make disciples
  • Go, love your neighbor as yourself

This too is part of our experience of discipleship with Jesus.  We learn to be with Jesus, become more like Jesus, and are then invited to join Jesus in the mission of God.  Come turns into go – the come and go of discipleship.

At times in our discipleship we focus more on the “come” side of the equation.  We view Christ and faith in terms of what it is doing in our lives.  We enjoy being in the presence of Christ, learning more of him and his ways.  We are being fueled and filled and nourished. But limiting our experience of discipleship to just the “come” side, never to “go” and join Jesus in the mission of God would be like staying at the Kum and Go forever.  Who wants to do that?

In Matthew 10, having just called the Twelve to be his apostles, Jesus sends them forth.  He admonishes them to travel light and with humility.  They are to be the guests of those with whom they go to share the good news.  If they are welcomed, they are to stay.  If they are not welcome, they are to move along.

Jesus’ words carry warning, telling his followers they can expect persecution; but they are also filled with encouragement, promising that we will be given the words to share at just the time they are needed, and provision for our needs.  We can go with these assurances, because we have come – come to know the goodness of a life with Christ, news that is simply too good not to share with others.

Where do you find yourself today?  Coming or going?  Maybe both?  Where will your discipleship journey with Jesus lead you tomorrow?

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