Summary: The church exists and why God doesn’t beam us up upon salvation but leaves us here on earth.
Read Matthew 28:19-20 – Do you know what this is? This is one of the final statements Jesus made to His followers before His ascension back to the Father. We call this statement the Great Commission? But really what it is our calling card – our purpose statement – our elevator pitch!
Last week – I introduced my heart and what makes me tick and why I believe the church exists and why God doesn’t beam us up upon salvation but leaves us here on earth.
M3 – MAKE – MATURE – MOBILIZE Disciples
What does this mean? I think it means we exist to introduce people to Christ, to help them experience an authentic growing relationship w/ Him, so that they might go out in His name and repeat the process.
In describing this text, most people would say this teaching is the purpose of the church’s existence. And certainly I would fall into this camp.
I would say that to MAKE a disciple begins w/ connecting someone to Christ through salvation and then connecting them to His church for ministry care and concern.
Now depending on whom you ask, you might find a wide variety of interpretations regarding what it means to “make disciples.” Many churches and pastors today believe this passage to be a command to evangelize the world. Yet while there’s certainly an evangelistic bent to Christ’s command, I believe His instructions go far beyond sharing the gospel.
I What is a DISCIPLE?
make disciples (matheteuo) is a beautifully complex phase, carrying more meaning than simply accumulating converts. It speaks to the idea of a learning believer – someone who is in the process of fully developing in his faith/love for God.
And as I spoke about last week…
• He is AVAILABLE to God
• He has AFFECTION for God
• He Submits to the AUTHORITY of God
• He Lives for the AGENDA of God
• He Waits on the ASSURANCE of God
And the essential disciplines to become a disciple?
• The ability to HEAR and distinguish God’s voice
• The ability to HANDLE God’s Word
• The ability to HONOR God’s Covenant Truths
• A readiness to HERALD God’s Truth to HELP others at the point of their need to serve them to God
It’s the difference b/w a one-time profession of faith and a lifetime of spiritual growth and increasing godliness – b/w a counterfeit faith experience and genuine conversion.
It is the difference b/w someone who seeks a GOD relationship and someone who settles for a GOOD religion.
II What is Disciple-MAKING?
Before we can answer this question there’s a fundamental truth we all must absorb – disciples are not made in bulk but one at a time. Disciples are made as one maturing disciple takes spiritual responsibility for another soul to influence them to Christ. Everything else supports the disciple-making process – the pulpit, small groups, etc.
Sadly though, it appears as if we’ve been tempted to do everything except the one thing Jesus called us to do – did you know that Jesus never told us to…
• Start Sunday School and Form classes
• Create Programs and Construct Buildings
• Build Colleges/Seminaries and Organize Conventions
• Hold Conferences and Sponsor Events
The mission of the Christian and God’s Church is to pour the Jesus that has been pour into me into another until they are capable of doing the same for another. (Hodges Example)
For Jesus making disciples meant repeating the process He performed w/ the 12 w/ others. Meaning – to be a disciple of Jesus is to make a disciple of Jesus.
Dawson Trotman – Born to Reproduce – asks: “Men, where is your man? Women, where is your woman? Where is the one whom you led to Christ and who is now going on w/ them? How many persons do you know by name today who were won to Christ by you and are now living for Him?” How is the life of Christ in you being multiplied through you in the world?”
III How are We Going to MAKE Disciples?
We’re not going to be consumer-driven for the best product but cultural relevant and biblically centered.
We’re not going to competitor-oriented looking to compare w/ the church down the street.
We’re going to be community-passionate about advancing a Kingdom one person at a time.
One ON One
One WITH Some
One AMONG Many
We’re going to invert our ministry model and return to a biblical model placing a premium on the One ON One and then affording the small groups and corporate worship encounters to support the disciple-making process.
We’re going to be more intentional w/ guest and new members to begin w/ clarity about who we are and why we do what we do as a church.