Summary: Making Disciples; Making a Difference: A Heart to Make Disciples
Making Disciples; Making a Difference
A Heart to Make Disciples
How does the high school football team know when it wins? How does the church know if it wins? What defines a win for us as a church? Popular way of determining a win in a church setting is the size of the church, the Sunday service, the size of the budget, or number of people that get saved. But are those the indicators that Jesus gave us by which to evaluate ourselves? We can appear to be successful but if we are not using the measuring stick Jesus gave us then it does not matter! The win for Jesus is discipleship so today we begin a series on discipleship to help us understand how we understand discipleship in our body and the process we see to make disciples.
1. What is the Task that Jesus Gave us?
Jesus gave us a clear plan, a clear win in Matthew 28:18-20. All of us are called to make disciples that can make disciples. The passage tells us to make disciples as we go about living life, by baptizing and by teaching them to obey everything Jesus commanded us to do. Making disciples is not something we can do on our own so God gives us His resources. First, he gives us His power and authority. Authority is the right to do something; power is the ability to do it. Secondly, He promises us his presence. God’s presence in the bible is the promise of His favor, His blessing, and success. Our success is not based upon how much money we have or how nice of a facility we have but Gods power and presence in our lives. Discipleship is not a program but a relational process, as we live life. As you teach your children, as you work at your job, as you socialize at the coffee shop. God has given each one of us a unique network or mission field in which to make discples.
2. How Do we Obey Jesus’ Command?
"Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you (Jn 20:21).” We obey his command by living as messengers sent with a message. But the goal is not to make converts, it is to make disciples. Jesus made twelve disciples who could reproduce themselves in the lives of others. Jesus’ did lots of good during his three years but his focus was to equip the twelve (John 17:4). Central to his mission was to equip, disciple twelve men to carry on his ministry after he died. The twelve disciples became the messengers who carried the message around the world. When Jesus commissioned the twelve to make disciples of all nations, they did not have to take a class on discipleship because he had discipled them over the span of three years. The task was and is to make disciples who can make disciples. So disciples are messengers who carry the message. “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching (Rom 10:14)?” Being a Christ follower is not a spectator sport. All of us are messengers who share the message and then disciple those who believe. In the book, The Unchurched Next Door, the author, Thom Rainer, notes that most unchurched people do not sense that Christians actively try to share their faith and the wonder why? He concludes that many of the unchuched are open to talking about Christ.
3. There are No Spectators on God’s Team
Jesus created the church. When we become Christ followers, we are organically connected to other Christ followers. The church is described as a family, a marraige, and a body. What is common to all them is that they are relational, interconnected, always have problems to work out, and not meant to be separated. What is also unique about them is that every member is necesary to make the metaphor work. Church is meant to be made up of individuals who are engaged and active, not just attending.
Discipleship cannot happen without a local church. So as we gather together, whether that be here on Sundays, Wednesdays, a Life Group, people serve and use their gifts God to help disciple others. What gifts and abilites do you have to help others be like Jesus? No one on their own can make the whole body function. God put you on the team as a player not a specator in the stands. But if you are not playing then the team cannot funciton well and so the message and the mission are compromised. Do you see yourself as a spectator or player? I read a statistic recently that said most people don’t volunteer becasue they are not asked or do not know the need.