The institution of the church has done a really good job of making converts, but a rather poor job of making disciples. Tons of churches are jazzed up for their Christmas Eve services because they know un-churched people will be walking through their door. Seeker friendly churches attract individuals who are interested in music, trends and “feel good moments.” With pastors only having an hour every week to give a message on God, there’s a lot left to be unsaid. We love to hear the numbers of people who answer alter calls, students who accept the Lord into their lives and individuals who repeat the “Sinners Prayer.” The discipline of growing ones faith seems to be a lot less interesting and glamorous than the energy and excitement of bringing another soul to Christ.
The Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) doesn’t say, “Go out and convert everyone to Christianity.” No, Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth as been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples if all nations…” Notice that He gave us a charge before He made this claim to make disciples. Christ said He has the authority of heaven and earth (meaning Satan no longer does) then He commands us to GO. This means God has given us authority. We have a responsibility and a job to do. My question then is: Are we doing it?
We must be failing because if we were really making disciples, then there would be a lot more glory in this world. There would be a lot more community and connection. There would be a lot more people truly pursuing the Word of God, and the will of God. We’re falling short of our call. (Our call is two fold – follow God and make disciples).
How do we pick up the slack? It’s not via a guilt trip. Rather, we need to encourage one another, inspire one another and help each other see our worth and ability. Through Christ, we have authority over Satan. So, no matter how embarrassing we think being His disciple is, we will rise above. No matter how dangerous discipleship might be, we’ll be protected. No matter how ill-equipped we feel to be called a disciple of Jesus, God will provide us with everything we need. No matter the excuse, we can overcome.
We must believe in ourselves, believe in our God and believe in His desire for the world before we can enter into discipleship. He has great plans for the world, but those plans cannot come into existence if we aren’t willing to share Him with others. We are co-labors with Christ. That means He wants us to be a part of the action. He has called us to step in and actively be involved in helping others become disciples.
First, we must first become a disciple ourselves. Which is why there are so few – many of us aren’t willing to put forth the energy it takes to be a disciple of the Lord. It takes confidence, discipline and a conscious effort. Instead of focusing on being a disciple, many are working to squelch the Lord and ignore His nudging because we feel small, ill-prepared, unable. God gives us all we need, we just need to be willing to step out in faith and nurture our relationship with Him. God could easily bring all His people together without us, but He chooses to work with us to bring His people closer to Him. What a beautiful confirmation of relationship.
As your bond with the Lord grows stronger, believe in yourself. Believe in your ability to share your faith. Believe that God will be standing right beside you. He will give you the words, knowledge and strength to support someone in their own personal walk with the Lord. You have been called to a great purpose. Believe in yourself so you can pursue that purpose.