Consider this question from Jesus’ viewpoint.
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Matthew 28:18-20 NIV
Please read that passage again…very methodically, as if you’re reading it for the first time, slowly…very slowly.
I make five observations for our consideration. Think about them. Push back if you like, but think with me.
- “Therefore”. The basis for what Jesus says is ALL authority has been given to him.
- Those who follow Jesus will go and as they go they’ll make disciples in all nations.
- Disciples acknowledge their allegiance to Jesus in the act of baptism.
- The goal of discipleship is not information but incarnation.
- The presence of Jesus is promised to those who go making disciples.
So, what are we doing?
The WesternChurch has been good at plans, programs and projects. I don’t think we’re doing so well at producing (dare I use the term “reproducing”?) fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ.
We disciple people to a set of teachings, a particular pastor/mentor, a set of prescribed behaviors, a church, a system, a dogma, a denomination, etc. However, all biblical discipleship is to a Person and that person is Jesus Christ. Jesus may or may not have left the building but he hasn’t left his people. He continues to call, “Come follow me”.
To be continued…