Avoiding the “Fender Bender”

Jared Horton - Senior Pastor | Real Life Ministries Newport, Newport, WA

Saturday morning coffee has become a rhythm of life for my daughters and me. The tradition started with my oldest daughter and has now passed to my third and youngest daughter. These dates give my daughters an opportunity to speak, and our time together gives me the valuable privilege to listen.

One recent morning my daughter and I went out on our coffee date. I was driving down a two-lane one-way street in our town. Ahead of us were a few cars also driving on the one-way street. Further ahead of them was a car parked on the left side of the road with the words “Student Driver” emblazoned on the back of the vehicle. Without warning, the student driver pulled out from his parking space and swerved across both lanes of traffic. The cars in front of us immediately illuminated the road with brake lights, thankfully avoiding a collision. The student driver quickly parked on the right side of the road. As my daughter and I drove past, we saw one of her fellow students from school being chastised by the driver’s education teacher. We chuckled at the scene as we continued down the road grateful that there was no collision or injury.

I told my daughter that this is the very reason we spend our Saturdays together. Without teaching, she might navigate life like the student driver we had just observed.

This caused me to consider the importance of unity as we make disciples. Driver education instructors train each student the fundamental skills of driving as well as an understanding of the traffic laws. This training is critical so that each person on the roadway will drive safely. When someone does not drive in a manner consistent with everyone else’s training and skill, that person stands out as ignorant –or worse – dangerous. As disciple makers we have been given a task of creating Biblical disciples using the model of Jesus.

In John 17, we see Jesus’ prayer for the unity of His disciples. Jesus’ model of discipleship was the unity He brought through the experience of following Him. Jesus taught them how to make disciples who would follow Him as they went into the spheres of the church, the home and the world.

Unity among disciple makers is essential in our world. We must reach the world for Jesus and present a consistent and accurate picture of Him through the lives of His disciples. Sadly, we see the results of a disunified church in our world everyday. People claiming to be disciples navigate their lives like a student driver recklessly cutting across traffic.

We need simple reminders to remain unified as disciple makers. These reminders will continually draw us closer to one another, nearer to Jesus and creating disciples who glorify the Father.

Reminder #1- Jesus

Jesus is the target for our unity. Unity does not come from conforming to one another or learning to get along. It comes when all disciple makers align with Jesus. When we pursue Jesus as the target, we grow closer to Him and to one another.

Reminder #2- Truth

Much like learning the traffic laws, we must be familiar with the Word of God. There are many wonderful resources that are useful and beneficial to our leadership. The value of these resources can be seen only when they are secure on the foundation of the Bible.

Reminder #3- Obey

Matthew 28:20 says, “Teach them to obey”. A student driver must be taught how to obey the traffic laws. Discipleship both fills our minds with truth and models how the truth looks on the unique roadways of our lives. Obedience is taught by the disciple maker in the context of relationship.

The consequence of poor driving is seen in tragedy every day. Much greater is the tragedy from broken discipleship. May we strive for unity with Jesus as our target, growing in the truth and learning to obey.


Jared Horton
Senior Pastor
Real Life Ministries Newport
Newport, WA

RDN Team Member
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