CULTURE OF DISCIPLESHIP
God always dreams bigger for us than we dream for ourselves. It says in Isaiah 55, "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are His ways are higher than our ways, His thoughts higher than our thoughts." God has heaven dreams for our lives, that we can only learn through intimacy with Him.
The beautiful thing is, as we spend time with Him and get to know His heart, He doesn't just show us the plans He has for us, but also the plans He has for others! And He uses others to carry out His plans in our lives.
When I moved to New York three years ago, I found myself at the end of myself, frustrated with life and desperate for Him to move. Looking back, I know that is exactly where God needed me, because it was only when I saw my own insufficiency, that God revealed the abundance of His power.
I very quickly met Grace Hazelgrove, who leads creative at C3 NYC, and began serving on the photo team. Summer came, and I interned in the church office as a photography intern, as per her recommendation. The next summer I interned again under Grace, this time focusing on film. Time and time again, God has taken the two loaves and fish I've put on the altar, and multiplied it before my eyes.
However, a critical part of the story in John 6, when Jesus fed the five thousand, is that Jesus wasn’t the one who asked the boy to give his lunch! It was Andrew, one of the disciples. Many times in our lives, God wants to feed five thousand through us, but the invitation comes through an Andrew.
In my life, I can see how many times God has used Grace Hazelgrove as an “Andrew”, inviting me to be a part of what he’s doing through her requests. I’ve learned that in being surrendered to God’s leadership, he calls us to surrender to those he’s placed in leadership above us.
In January, Grace and I met for coffee, where she asked me to step into leading the photo team at our Downtown Brooklyn location. At the time I was serving on welcome team, but I could see that God’s heart was behind her request, and I accepted. What happened over the following six months was beyond what I could have imagined. God grew a team of 2 to a family of over 15 and counting. Words would fail to describe all I have seen God do within the team he entrusted to me, through the invitation from Grace.
God often tests the humility of our hearts, by asking if we will submit ourselves to being discipled. John 3:30 reads “He must increase, but I must decrease”. God has only one plan, and that's for the redemption of humanity. He invites us all to be a part of it, but we must first surrender our dreams for ourselves for his dream for humanity.
— ERIC DARGAN