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Homemade Discipleship


We often forget that others are watching to see what kind of choices we make.


Homemade Discipleship

by Jenny Hall


My daughter Allison was only 2 ½-years-old when our family answered God’s invitation to plant a Free Will Baptist church in York, Pennsylvania. One of my first thoughts was, “Allison will miss out on the children’s programs. How will she come to know Christ? You see, not many months before I had written the following in my journal:

I just put Allison to bed—what a humbling, heart-stopping thought I had—she is going to spend eternity somewhere! It’s my privilege and totally overwhelming and awesome responsibility to lead her to my Lord and to Heaven. I’ve known this all along, but it almost makes me sick to my stomach to think about it tonight.

I cannot express the ache I felt in the depths of my soul that winter night, and I began to pray fervently for Allison to come to know the Lord personally and at an early age.

Not long after we moved to York, Allison began asking a lot of questions about salvation. For several months, as she took her bath, she would say, “Mommy, tell me about how Jesus died.” I would share with her the story of Jesus, beginning with His prayer in the garden and ending with Him at the right hand of God. She never tired of hearing the story.

Finally, one night, Allison (who had by then turned four) had a new question. “Mommy, why does everybody have to die to live in Heaven with Jesus?” I thought a moment and answered, “Everybody doesn’t get to live in Heaven with Jesus when they die. Only those who accept Him as their Savior get to go to Heaven.”

“I’ve never done that,” Allison responded.

“You’ve never done what, Sweetheart?” I asked.

“I’ve never asked Jesus to forgive my sins.”

I hadn’t said anything about forgiveness of sins, so I knew the Holy Spirit had been dealing with her heart. Allison, her daddy, and I sat down on the couch. Allen began asking Allison question after question, and she answered each one with conviction.

When her daddy was finally satisfied that Allison knew what she was doing, he told her, “If you want to be saved, you need to pray yourself. Mommy can’t do it for you; I can’t do it for you, and nobody else can do it for you, either.”

Allison said okay, and proceeded to invite Christ to be her Savior.

When she finished praying, we hugged her and told her how thankful we were that she had chosen to accept Jesus. She started laughing then giggling, and all of a sudden, she started to cry and quickly escalated to sobs. I pulled her close and asked, “Allison, why are you crying, Honey?”

Between sobs she stammered, “Because . . . I . . . got . . . saved!” What a precious time we shared together.

As I thought back to my first reaction to starting a new work, the Lord encouraged my heart that it’s not programs that change lives; it’s the message that brings repentance. We did not even have a children’s Sunday School at our church yet. Allison was our very first convert in York! Isn’t God good?

It is amazing how many choices we make in a day. Some we have to think about, but most are decided on the spur of the moment. The everyday choices we make let others know what kind of person we are on the inside. We often forget that others are watching to see what kind of choices we make.

Recently, our family was reminded of this truth while enjoying a meal at Cracker Barrel. As we finished eating, a lady approached our table. She spoke to Allison and said, “I’ve been watching what a well-behaved young lady you have been. You are also dressed like a little girl should be dressed.” Allison thanked the lady for the compliment, and her daddy and I added our thanks as well.

When I helped Allison dress that morning, I did not think hard and long about what she was going to wear. We had already made the choice that she would always dress modestly. Further, it was not easy for Allison to choose to have a sweet spirit as a hungry four-year-old, but she made the right choice and was rewarded.

It was good for our family to be reminded that people are watching to see what choices we make. People are watching you and your family, too. I pray the Lord will help us all to remember to make the right choices, no matter where we go or what we do.


About the Writer: Allen and Jenny Hall serve as home missionaries in York, PA. Learn more about the ministry of Home Missions at


©2011 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists