The Cost of Discipleship is a Coffee

I’ve been recently reconciling the cost of discipleship. Both to disciple and be discipled, and I’m realizing the metric is somewhat simple and somewhat boring. A lot of the times, the cost of discipleship is just a coffee. It is the cost of setting aside a few dollars and a few hours consistently in your schedule to meet with mentors, seekers, friends, and the Lord. You would think it would be more exciting. More intense. Maybe even more complicated. But I’m noticing that maybe the cost of discipleship is that it’s ordinary and a lifetime long. The cost is faithfulness. The cost is patience.

It doesn’t tend to have grand instant gratification and it doesn’t always feel like the type of “suffering” that at least you can feel proud of or feel important because of. No, a lot of times discipleship happens in the very mundane moments of life and the cost comes when your routine says “you have things to do” and discipleship asks to interrupt you. And it most likely interrupts you not for the exciting “come to Jesus” conversion on the side of the road. It just interrupts you to learn someone’s name or hear someone’s story or pick someone up from the airport or invite someone into your house and yes, even to grab coffee.

There actually is no line between living as a disciple who makes disciples and just living. It really is one and the same.

As I attempt to live life here “on mission” as if I were a missionary overseas, I find myself somewhat struck by how normal and boring discipleship and kingdom building can be. You go to work, go to church, have some people over to your house, go to coffee with someone new, go to sleep, and do it all again. And as someone who really struggles with getting bored, this is kind of a scary realization. But I’m finding that the mundane is where the beauty truly is. In the quiet moments and the hours of coffee. This is the cost, and it is also the reward.

Although I may be just living the routine of a normal life, I do not play by the rules of this world nor am I bound by its limited joys. For although the devil would like to convince me that coffee is just coffee, I know that it’s another seed planted. And that faithful day at work is another field watered. Every moment at church is another opportunity to raise up workers for the harvest. And every prayer walk on my street is changing lives in ways I will never know. Life may seem normal from this side of heaven but I know that my citizenship is not here. I know that my life is storing up treasures in an eternal storehouse. And I know that there is a battle waging war in our midst and I am fighting alongside angels more vibrant than I could ever imagine.

And while it still may look like just having coffee, it turns out, that’s not very boring at all.

-Melea Irby

*Melea is a basketball coach’s daughter who grew up in a missional family, was coached by her father, and is now taking these lessons learned into her life as a young adult.

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