Sorry, you messed up–you made a disciple

As I was studying in preparation for sermon-writing, I came across this story and just had to share it with you:

William Willimon, Dean of the Chapel at Duke University, tells of getting a telephone call from an irate parent:

“I hold you personally responsible for this,” the father told him.

“Me?” the campus minister asked.

“Yes, you. I send my daughter off to college to get a good education. Now she tells me she wants to throw it all away, and go off to Haiti as a Presbyterian mission volunteer! Isn’t that absurd? A B.S. in mechanical engineering from Duke, and she’s going off to dig ditches in Haiti.”

“Well,” said Willimon, in a feeble attempt at humor, “I doubt the engineering department taught her much about that line of work, but she’s a fast learner; she’ll probably get the hang of ditch-digging in a few months.”

“Look,” interrupted the father, “this is no laughing matter. I hold you completely responsible for her decision. She likes you. You’ve filled her head with all those pie-in-the-sky ideas!”

“Now look,” said Willimon, trying to keep his ministerial composure. “Weren’t you the one who had her baptized?”

“Why, yes,” the father replied.

“And didn’t you read her Bible stories, take her to Sunday school, send her off on ski trips with the Presbyterian Youth Fellowship?”

“Well, yes, but …”

“Don’t ‘but’ me. It’s your fault she believed all that stuff, that she’s gone and thrown it all away on Jesus — not mine. You’re the one who introduced her to Jesus, not me.”

“But all we ever wanted was for her to be a Presbyterian,” said the father, meekly.

“Sorry. You messed up. You made a disciple.”

Quoted from  Googling revealed a few variations on the story, but I liked this one the best.


One thought on “Sorry, you messed up–you made a disciple

  1. Thanks for sharing, Anna. I have to agree with the daughter’s aspiration to work as a missionary. Not that I’ve ever been on a mission trip myself but I have spoken with people who have. Seems like she has big ambitions for wanting to serve the Lord.

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