Summer 2014 has officially come to an end for me, whew! The summer was filled with young adults serving, churches connecting with their community, and disciples/leaders being made. It was a busy summer, with barely enough time to take a breath in-between, but one of which was extremely fruitful and that got me feeling convicted about something. When did we start focusing more on creating committees to run the church than creating disciples to do God’s work?
When the six members of the Summer Leadership Team and I entered our first meeting on discipleship, every single one of them were without answer when I asked “What does it mean to be a disciple of Christ and are you one?” They had all heard the word and they could name those in the Bible who were identified as disciples, but they were unsure on how exactly that relates to them and whether or not they were of the standard to consider themselves a disciple.
The Greek word for “disciple” is mathetes. When directly translated, it means learner. So, a disciple of Christ is a lifelong learner of Jesus, in the context of the Bible. Therefore, when you think about it, we can all be a disciple and should strive to constantly be learning in Christ. Which brings me to my point, we (the church) need to be making disciples.
The constant conviction that I had laid on my heart entering this full time ministry position was The Great Commission. I have been working towards educating, guiding, and working with the people of our churches and churches in general to “go”. We are to be sent and are to be bringing the Kingdom here as it is in Heaven. But, this summer I realized that I can’t just focus on the “go”, but we as the body of Christ need to be reminded to put a better focus on the “make disciples” part. We should have knowing disciples, learners of Christ, going and making disciples. However, if those in the church aren’t already disciples, how can they then go and make disciples?
We have got to get our churches producing servants for Christ, equipping them with the power of the knowledge in Christ, so that they can be His disciple. The young people I worked with this summer were hungry for this and were ready for the invitation and challenge to own being a disciple. How many more are there out there, in our churches, who are ready to be made into disciples, to then become a disciple, so that they can then “go” and “make disciples”? What if we really felt the conviction, as His disciples, to carry out The Great Commission? Would all nations become baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit? What would be the possibility and outcome in this created culture in our churches?