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Discipleship and a tale of two men

The Table, a Resonate Global Mission church plant partner in Thorold, Ontario, is celebrating a young man’s new life in Christ – thanks to a discipleship encounter this spring that seemed to echo one six years ago.

Terence Schilstra, who planted The Table, first met Brian six years ago. They crossed paths outside of the school gym where The Table hosts community dinners. Terence smiled and introduced himself to Brian, but Brian didn’t respond. He simply stared back at Terence  – and then walked away.

But over the next few weeks, Terence kept running into Brian. Terence listened to Brian’s story. He came from a broken home, was addicted to drugs, was part of a gang, and had been to jail a few times.

He was also interested in The Table’s community.

The Table doesn’t look like your typical established church in the denomination. The Table is a micro-church, or missional community, one of the models that Resonate and the denomination are pursuing in church planting. The Table currently has four small groups of 10-25 people who meet together to pray, read the Bible, and live in community.

As weeks passed, and Brian attended The Table’s gatherings, he started to become friends with several people. Brian also became more curious about Jesus. He started asking more questions and reading the Bible more often. One day, he decided to follow Christ.

“God has worked powerfully in Brian’s life,” said Terence.

It wasn’t an easy process, but The Table supported Brian every step of the way – especially the steps back – as he overcame his addiction and some of his past hurts. Today, Brian is free from addiction. And God’s work in and through Brian is having resonating effects.

Six years after Brian and Terence first met, Brian had a similar discipleship encounter with one of his neighbors: a young man named Solly. Brian crossed paths with Solly while walking up the stairs to his apartment. He introduced himself, but Solly didn’t respond. He simply stared back at Brian – and then walked away.

But over the next few weeks, Brian persisted. He greeted Solly when he saw him, and then he invited Solly over for dinner. It didn’t seem like Solly really wanted to come to dinner, but he came. Brain listened to Solly’s story, and then continued to find ways to connect with him. He shared his faith with Solly and invited him to The Table’s gatherings.

And as Solly learned more about Jesus, he became more captivated by the grace, hope, and love of the gospel. One day, Solly decided to follow Christ.

Today, both Brian and Solly continue to grow as disciples. Terence said Brian has “amazing gifts of connecting and hospitality” and is co-leading a Bible study, and Solly is part of one of The Table’s gatherings and is being discipled by Brian and other men.

“It’s incredible to be part of this interconnected chain of discipleship as God builds his kingdom in our city,” said Terence. “My hope and prayer are that every able-bodied Christian would be inspired to make disciples of Jesus.”

This article was made possible through a partnership with CRC Ministries within Canada.

  • Cassie is the Communications Specialist at Resonate Global Mission.

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