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Mere Disciple Interview: Karyn Makins

Recently I was thinking about a way to highlight some of the people that I’ve come to admire as examples of people who are passionately pursuing Jesus.  I thought that it might be cool to post some short interviews with them on this blog, and in the process have them impact you through their faith and passion (if they haven’t done so already). 

First up on the interview queue, Karyn Makins.  I met Karyn back in late 2008, and after our first coffee together it was obvious that she was intensely interested in discovering and following through on God’s call on her life–whatever that turned out to be.  Over the next several months, Karyn got heavily involved in our community, built some great connections within our church and established herself as one of our young adults who led by example and exuded a passionate and sincere faith. 

Currently, Karyn serves as a leader within Grindstone’s high school program (Elevate), and also serves as a member of one of our Sunday morning worship teams. 

What does being a disciple of Jesus mean to you? 

Being a disciple of Jesus to me means being like him in everything that I do. You know the cliché Christian saying “what would Jesus do?” I actually ask myself that a lot! When I am going through my day and trying to be a disciple I ask myself what would he do in this situation? Then I try and do it! I think it also means learning and practicing what we learn from other Christians who exemplify Jesus’ character or what we learn from reading the word and seeing who Jesus is.  

What have been a few of the more significant learning curves you’ve experienced as it relates to following Jesus?

I think that I have had a few significant circumstances that have really challenged me to forgive and love others despite what they have done to me. The great thing about Jesus’ love is that it isn’t earned and in fact isn’t deserved. He forgives me for how I have wronged him – just as I need to forgive others that have wronged me. 

I also have learned a lot about living life with kingdom value instead of worldly value. I think that it is good to do things for fun, and that things need to be prioritized (like your job, school etc.) but knowing that if there is something that will enhance the kingdom you prioritize that instead because you know that its value is greater. 

Describe your relationship with God in five words.

Dependence, love, trust, challenging, comfort.

Why are you connected and involved in a local church?

I am involved in the Church for a few different reasons. I LOVE to serve in ministry; it gets me excited and fulfills me! I also think that as Christ’s followers we are called to serve especially in the body of Christ. God gives us spiritual gifts that help others connect to him and grow in their faith.

When did your faith first become “real” and why? 

My faith first became real to me when I entered high school. I was blessed to have met passionate Christ followers who I became very close with. They were living a lifestyle that reflected Jesus’ character and had a personal relationship with him – which was something I was missing. Over the course of grade 9 and 10 I was able to understand and start a relationship with Jesus and ultimately ended up living for his will only, not mine.

 What is a life-stage challenge for you as it relates to living out your faith faithfully and passionately?

 There are so many areas of my life that challenge me to live out my faith. One is living in a culture that is all about selfishness and consumerism. I find that it is a struggle to daily put others before myself and not be consumed by things of worldly value instead of kingdom value.

While I am waiting for my mission term in Rwanda I am working in a mall where all I want to do is spend money on things that have next-to-no value. I also find that my job can be exhausting and can sometimes feel pointless. I know that in this time God can use me through the relationships I have built, but it is so hard to live with zealous faith when I spend my time in a job that is so un-fulfilling. I just look forward to February when I will be serving alongside orphans, widows and refugees.