Wherever You Go

So wherever you go, make disciples of all nations: Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 28:19 GW

Focus on disciple making.

That’s what the Lord said to me as I was driving home from a lunch meeting less than two weeks ago where I had asked a pastor friend to pray for me.

I needed clarity and direction. I asked someone I trusted to intercede for me on my behalf. The Lord answered that prayer by speaking directly to my heart by the power of the Holy Spirit. When God speaks, it’s always true, it’s always life-giving, and it always brings peace.

I was wondering what to do with my life and my passion for ministry. God already knew the answer.

Focus on disciple making.

My approach to making disciples is very simple. First, pray that God would bring you someone who wants to become a dedicated follower of Jesus. Then, wait and see who God brings you.

Invite that person, or persons, to walk with you as you go about life and ministry. You can’t force someone to follow Jesus, but you can invite them to come and see what life is really all about.

The essence of being a disciple is that you become exactly like your master. I’m not making disciples of Dennis, I’m making disciples of Jesus. Therefore, I need to know the Master and walk with Him before I can start passing on the truth to the next generation of disciplemakers.

The main thing I teach people is to recognize God’s voice and obey it. If you can hear God and obey, you’re well on your way to a fruitful life and ministry. You just need a buddy to encourage you along the way.

A lot of discipleship programs are heavy on ritual and head knowledge. I prefer to focus on relationship development. You will know disciples by their love. By being a safe place of grace, peace and truth, we provide the atmosphere for God’s Word to take root in a person’s soul.

If you read the Bible, you’ll see that the early Church was like a family, a loving family. In today’s culture, that’s a mythical creature to some. For many, family is a trigger word that reminds them of abuse, neglect, dysfunction and trauma. This is where the Church needs to step up. We are God’s people, we should be recognized by our love and hospitality. We are to father the fatherless and shepherd a lost generation.

Our current approach to reaching our communities is ineffective. It was designed to meet the needs of a different time and place. If we stop and think, how much of what we’re doing is making disciples, or building people up in love? Ministry is serving others. What are we doing to equip and empower people to go do the work of ministry? That’s the call for every believer.

Focus on disciple making.

Every believer, once mature in the Lord, should be actively discipling other believers. That’s where you grow the most. Sitting passively consuming religious programming does nothing to make disciples. Disciple making is relational. It’s teaching someone how to have a harmonious relationship with God.

For every sermon you’ve heard, how much do you remember the next day? Maybe one thought. How much effort was put into crafting those forgettable words? What if we spent all those hours pouring ourselves into the lives of others who can then go and teach others?

Instead of complaining about our present circumstances, which is sinful behavior, why don’t we recognize the amazing opportunity that is before us?

People’s hearts are softened to the Gospel message right now. They need a worldview that brings meaning to the madness. People are socially isolated and hungry for genuine connection. Just being yourself, as the Spirit leads, is enough to draw them in. Just being yourself, as the Spirit leads, is enough to start the process of being intentional about following Jesus.

Disciples follow Jesus.

Focus on disciple making.

That’s the mission of the Church. Not culture change. Not political activism. If we focus on making disciples, the Church will self-organize according to the need of the moment. Remember, the Church is alive, it’s all the people who are walking in the Spirit. It’s not static.

Are we more married to our tradition and heritage than the Spirit of the Living God? The only path forward is through Jesus. Walk with Him. And focus on disciple making.

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