We are retired, and we are engaged in the Missionary Task.
Retirement. A lot of things come to mind when we picture this stage of life. Rest. Relaxation. Pastimes. What Brent and Terry could not have anticipated in their young careers was that retirement for them would mean extensive time in prison–prison ministry that is. “Before I retired, I was thinking I wanted to spend more time doing ministry,” Brent shared. “But my plans didn’t work out, so I turned to golf and fishing and eventually just felt like I was floundering. That dramatically changed when I heard about the need for help in prison ministry.” Brent began by shadowing men who had been doing this type of ministry as they showed him the ropes. “I was getting discipled while I went,” he said. “That was a benefit I wasn’t expecting at all. A lot of people are afraid to do these types of things because they don’t know how. The best way to learn is to just go! Brent shared that he used to view prison ministry as evangelism–sharing the Gospel once and leaving. But in this environment, he came to realize how vital the discipleship process is. “Some of the prisoners won’t come to Bible study because of the peer pressure,” he said. “But we try to invest in the guys who come, so they will take what they learn back to the others.”
That’s what the Missionary Task is all about–investing into the lives of people in your circle of influence, so they can then go invest into the lives in their circle of influence. And it’s this very concept that has driven Terry’s desire for Great Commission living on a daily basis. “The Great Commission and the Great Commandment are intrinsically intertwined,” Terry said. “If I say I love God, but I don’t carry His Word to those around me, I don’t really love God. I love myself. Loving my neighbor means living the Great Commission life (Matthew 22:3639, 28:1920).” Terry, who is also involved in prison ministry, has found that close relationships and studying the Word with other women is where real transformation happens.
“In the discipleship setting, you get the opportunity to dialogue,” she said. “We can ask practical questions about everyday life–how to live this out. That’s so important. You might hear a sermon or teaching and accept it on one level, but in discipleship you really get to ask questions about how to pursue this in real life.”
“We are focused on making disciple makers not just making disciples,” Brent added. “The multiplication is just incredible. It’s staggering how spiritual maturity can cause this message to just explode.”
For Brent and Terry, engaging in the Missionary Task is more than presenting the Gospel and seeing people saved. It’s about pointing everyone to Jesus and the power of God’s Word to transform lives. “Our story is one like every other believer’s story,” Terry shared, “the story of God taking fallen strugglers and working in our lives to show us how wonderful He is and how He loves us deeply. If we trust Him, He will use us for His glory.”