• Joel Riehle


One of the best breakthroughs I have ever had was one cold Saturday when I decided to meet one of my high school disciples 3 hours away at his aunt’s funeral.

I was new to discipleship but I felt like my eyes had been opened to the most important thing in the Christian life. So when it came to making a decision with what I would do with my Saturday I was driven by the knowledge that investing in a few was the only thing that mattered.

Before I might have thought my time would have been better spent going to multiple kids sporting events or resting up. But when I learned this wasn't going to be an average funeral for him it made the difficult decision a simple one.

Not only was it a big gesture that couldn’t be ignored, but the kid didn’t have his friends around or even all of his siblings. He liked seeing a friendly face. And to top it off his parents let him ride back home with me.

It could have been the change of venue, the lunch stop, or the somber day but our conversation went deeper than it had during months of our regular meeting times. I also seized an opportunity to share some real stuff with him. I shared the darkest parts of my testimony and it cleared away any remnants of a wall that existed between us.

I couldn't afford to do this every weekend. But these opportunities don't come around every weekend. And I am still reaping the relational rewards of the big gesture.

Large gestures like that, while costly, will outlast 100 weekly meetings.

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