Making disciples seems to be a big deal right now in church world. There are discipleship pathways being created by churches to help people progress along systematically in the faith journey. There are programs all over the internet that will help give one more knowledge that helps them in their discipleship steps. There are sermon series being crafted around the topic. There is nothing wrong with any of these ideas. The problem seems to be that the people that are supposed to be making disciples have checked out on that responsibility. Believers have become complacent, too busy or just do not want to see their responsibility to take part in this kingdom investment.
Obedience to Christ is critical! In Matthew 28:18-20 we find Jesus’ final instructions to the disciples before ascending to heaven. The command to “make disciples” is not an option for believers. It is who we are every day of the week as we go to work, the gym, the ball fields, during family time and at church – we are disciples of Jesus and we are disciple makers.
Read through the words of Matthew 28:18-20: 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Emphasis mine)
I want you to be reminded about four things as you reflect on these words:
- All authority
The authority to speak these words has been given to Jesus because of who He is and what He has done. He has every right and all authority to call every believer into the role of disciple and disciple maker. Our nature is to resist authority. Become kingdom minded and see the authority of Jesus in your life as a good thing and respond accordingly.
- Go…make disciples
There is action to these words. Go…open your mouth and share Jesus with people that need to hear about Him. Going is investing in someone that needs you. Some will know they need to be invested in and others will not. The thought is to be obedient to going like we have been commanded.
- Teach them
Growth takes time. Do not get in a hurry. Teaching is always involved in discipleship and gets deeper as the relationship grows. The disciple maker has to stay in Scripture and be one step ahead of the person he is discipling. You are teaching them things that you are learning and helping them to prepare to invest in the life of another new believer down the line.
- I am with you always
What a great reminder! We cannot make disciples on our own. God chooses to use us in the process of helping in the growth of another believer. Whether you are scared to death, do not think you know enough about the Bible or not sure exactly what to say…lean into the promise of Jesus. “I am always with you.” Go and do what I have commanded you to do…you are not alone!
How will you respond to the call of God on your life to be a disciple and a disciple maker? My prayer is that you would give Him your “YES” and begin to see these potential relationships around you. Pray specifically that God would send you to the person(s) that He would have you invest your life into. When they are identified, see the God-given privilege of discipleship and enjoy the process thanking Him all the time for the opportunity to be used by Him.