Do you expect God to use you to make disciples of other people? Yes, as a wider church community, we’re on about being transformed by Jesus, loving like Jesus so that we might impact the world for Jesus, but individually, what do you see as your role in this task?
In the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) Jesus reminds us of that task that he’s given each individual disciple –
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Matt 28:19-20)
What mission does Jesus give his disciples? To make disciples who will make more disciples who will make more disciples who will make more disciples who will make more disciples, all of whom will obey Jesus’ commands and make more disciples…… (I think you get the picture). In the face of such a massive challenge, he comforts his disciples by saying….
“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matt 28:20)
However, somehow in our churches, we’ve got a receiving culture – where we receive each week. We’re overloaded with the Bible in small groups and sermons, yet not equipped (or willing?) to pass it on to others who so desperately need to hear it. The Scriptures remind us of this urgency and that we ought to be burdened by the need to make disciples. We need to grow in this, both as a wider church community and as individual disciples ourselves. As Colin Marshall reminded us,
“It doesn’t make sense to be a disciples and not be caught up in this movement of making more disciples.” (Colin Marshall)
So how, then, are we to do it? How to we go about making disciples who will make disciples? There are three basic “trellis’” that help us in this task:
Whilst we’re not planning on taking our eyes off our Sunday meetings or Small Groups ensuring they’re running and helpfully as possible, it’s the third trellis that we’re seeking to develop in the years ahead. We’re keen to develop a culture within our church community of people taking the initiative to meet with another person to help them to know Christ better and obey him more fully through studying the Scriptures, prayer and sharing our lives with them.
As we look closer at the New Testament, this is clearly the way people were converted in the early church. The following passages provide example of Jesus, Peter, Philip and Paul all meeting people, opening and explaining the scriptures and seeing them converted. (Luke 24:44-49, Acts 2:14-21, Acts 8:26-40, Acts 17:1-12)
How are we meant to go about making disciples? Exactly the same way! BY meeting people and opening and explaining it to them! It’s not complicated! It’s a simple bible reading movement, which could impact many people’s lives for eternity!
Let’s create a culture within our church of receiving God’s word AND passing it on to others, a culture of meeting one to one, of reading and explaining the scriptures in a way that’s convenient (don’t have to organise a big group) and simple (check out the swedish method), and that’s more personal in dealing with people where they’re at and what they can cope with. If you don’t know the answer to a question, embrace the moment – that’s how we learn and grow in our own Christian maturity too!
It doesn’t make sense to be a disciple of Jesus and not be caught up in this movement of making more disciples. Unless we’re worshipping God with lips and with our lives, we’ll never make disciples. Let’s be doers of God’s word and put some of what we’re learning into practice with others who so desperately need to hear God’s word and be transformed by it.
If you’re interested in talking more about how or who or what you could read with another person, please speak to one of the staff at St Faith’s and we’d love to give some thoughts on that!
Taken from the Vinegrowers Seminar with Colin Marshall (18 Feb, 2013 – St Faith’s Narrabeen)