The Mission (part 3 of 3)…MAKING Disciples
This is part 3 in my 3-part series of articles about our mission statement. Our mission (“Making disciples of Jesus Christ…”) is based on Jesus’ ‘Great Commission’ (“Go and make disciples of all people…”). Two months ago, I wrote about what it means to “go,” and how it is not possible to make disciples without leaving our zone of comfort and stepping into the lives of people who need Jesus. Last month’s subject was discipleship, and how a disciple never stops growing and deepening his relationship with Jesus.
This month is closely related, but I’d like to discuss what it means to “make” disciples, and how we might go about doing that. It is commonly understood that making disciples involves winning converts to the Christian faith. Of course, conversion is not our responsibility…that’s the Holy Spirit’s job. Our job is to put ourselves in a position to bear witness to what the Lord has done with and through us! In Revelation 12, Michael and a band of angels defeat Satan and his angels. Verse 11 tells us, “They gained the victory over him on account of the blood of the Lamb and the word of their witness” (CEB). Satan is crafty, but he is not able to overcome the word of your witness. Telling your experience with Jesus is a MAJOR part of making disciples. However, that’s not all there is to it.
Closely related to “go”ing, we have to be in a position to tell our story to those who need to hear it. That means we have to leave our building (most people won’t come to us). We put ourselves in a position where we might win an opportunity. We go relieving suffering in the name of Jesus, waiting for the opportunity to tell our story. We serve meals, fix homes, visit the lonely, work on cars, etc. so that we might have such an opportunity, so in order to make disciples we must be in the proper position and prepared to tell our story.
On the “back side,” disciple making doesn’t end when someone accepts the Lord. If we expect ourselves to continue growing in our discipleship, that means we must provide opportunities for seekers and believers to deepen their faith and understanding. We do that in common ways through Sunday School and Small Groups. In less common ways, we offer programs like the E100 Reading Plan and specific bible studies and other periodic occasion. A few weeks ago, I challenged everyone in worship to make it a point to start some form of continuing discipleship plan and offered to help guide that process. (I haven’t had any calls…my phone is still turned on.) When people respond to the Call to put their faith in Christ, we need to plug them into some sort of continuing discipleship. Question is…are we taking advantage of what’s being offered for our own discipleship?
What do you do for your own discipleship?
How do you help make others into disciples?
How do you help others deepen their walk with Jesus?