An interesting phenomenon is happening across many streams of the Church in the West at the moment. Across denominational boundaries, geographical borders, relational networks and different styles of church from highly organized to highly organic, I am discovering that many church leaders are wrestling with the same question, myself included. Regardless of whether they run large, successful, resourcing churches, or small neighborhood churches, leaders have begun to sense the need to ask a very strategic question. It’s simply this:
Are we actually making disciples?
Now, I don’t know about you, but the fact that so many churches in different streams are being brave enough to ask this question should tell us something about the state of the Church at large today. Don’t get me wrong; I can see God at work across His Church. I hear many testimonies of how the Holy Spirit is bringing transformation to individuals and even cities and regions through churches and individuals who are sold out for Jesus. We see wonderful salvations and healings on a regular basis in our own church.
At the core of this question, we see the acknowledgement that making disciples is actually what Jesus commissioned His own disciples to do, and so inherently we are called to do it, too. It is the object of the Great Commission that Jesus gave in Matthew 28:18-20:
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
In this series of blogs, I want to explore what it means to be a disciple of Jesus, as well as what it doesn’t mean. I’ll share some of the things that the Lord has been challenging me about, as well as some of the simple truths I have learned about what it means to be a disciple and to make disciples.
My prayer is that these blogs will help equip you to co-labor in the Great Co-mission we have been given of being and making disciples.