D. Cell Parable: The Orphanage
The young couple looked with adoration upon their first child, a little boy.
“You are so beautiful,” they cooed.
They looked up from their baby to the lifestyle to which they had become accustomed. Two high paying jobs and exciting, demanding careers. A very expensive home and two brand new Porsche sports cars. Vacations in Cancun, Broadway plays and season tickets to all the professional sports teams in their city. Workouts at the health club to stay slim and trim; dinners out at expensive restaurants.
“We have been blessed,” they said. “God has been so good to us.”
“God has answered all our prayers.”
“Our baby is going to need our church’s help to grow up in faith.”
“I totally agree.”
“I see a problem with our independent lifestyle and raising the baby,” one said.
“I see the need for things to change now that we have a baby,” the other said.
“Raising this baby would mean we would have to grow up, and give up our self-indulgent lifestyle.”
“You’re right. This baby needs mature parents who will love him with all their hearts.”
“Raising this baby would mean that we would have to put a priority on parenting and let the other things be less important. We’d have to change and put the children first.”
“That’s the sort of parents our baby needs, honey. I totally agree.”
They looked at all their things, and they were sad, for they were exceedingly rich.
“I know what we should do. We’ll go see the pastor.”
“Honey, I totally agree. Our pastor is so smart, so mature, and knows all about raising kids and being responsible.”
“Exactly. Our pastor will be able to help us with this challenge.”
They bundled up the baby and got in the Porsche. They looked with love upon the baby the whole trip to the church. “You are so beautiful,” they cooed. They left the baby on the pastor’s door step, rang the doorbell and sped away.
The pastor opened the door and saw the baby. “Another one!” the pastor thought, picking up the baby. “You are so beautiful!” the pastor told the baby, carrying him through the door into the church. Through the door one could hear all the other babies crying.
E. Generational disciple making is like making babies and raising them to full adulthood, which includes the learned ability to raise their own children to full adulthood. Children learn parenting from being parented. Four generations are described by Paul in 2 Timothy 2:1-2. Were you abandoned by your spiritual parents?
 The quote is a selection from David O. Kueker’s Fuller Seminary Doctor of Ministry project submitted in September, 2007, entitled Diagnosis, Dialogue, and Decision: A Threefold Process of Revitalization For the Illinois Great Rivers Conference.
It is shared here in recognition of its 12th Anniversary along with comments to update and provide perspective on the material. The original project was a Training Manual/Study Guide of three Seminars supported by three chapters of research and an Introduction. The material is available for download at www.disciplewalk.com/Resources.html. In 2009 it was provided for purchase as a softcover book entitled Designing Discipleship Systems: Christian Disciple Making For Any Size Church, Any Theology through CreateSpace.com.
   
All Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Please review the page How and Why We Use Quotes.