In Matthew 28 we the eleven disciples are told by the resurrected Christ to make disciples of all nations with the help of the Holy Spirit. After this event a revolution takes place all over the world including the outbreak of the Gospel at Pentecost, Paul’s conversion, and John’s revelation of the end of the world.
So why is making disciples of all nations so important? Why does Jesus tell His disciples to make disciples of non-disciples if He is the one who saves?
Making disciples is reproducing what Christ has done for you. It bears good fruit and it reflects Him and gives Him the ultimate glory in the earth.
So what has someone like me learned about making disciples.
I am a student of the God and His Word so I will speak plainly based on what He has taught me.
Making disciples of Jesus is about giving out what Jesus has first given to you. It shows the face of Christ and makes Him real in the world. Too many people think that Jesus is only personal and not social. This fits in great with the secularism of the entitlement American dream that is about me, me, me.
Though a personal relationship with Jesus is important and also the starting point, the Christian life goes much farther than that. Christ doesn’t want to give you His Word and then shut you up and let the world go to hell just. He wants to give you your daily bread and bless you so that you can do the same for others. This is the point of the church and the point of the mobile Gospel.
So when all is said and done, I am receiving to reproduce.
2. Making disciples is about making disciples in the church and of Christ, not disinfecting the church of bad people.
Too many churches create cruel filters for certain kinds of people that they think will not make it in their community. Don’t get me wrong, certain kinds of filters are necessary, especially for certain kinds of addicted lifestyles. But filtering out people is never part of God’s plan to make disciples of all nations.
The less that we isolate our best church members and make church a museum of good people and get more down and dirty, the more disciples we will make.
So the more bad people that come to church the better. Christ loved being friends with sinners, they seemed to catch on to what He was about the greatest.
3. Making disciples is about relationships, not religion.
Making disciples is about taking people into your home and getting to know them at a deep level and allowing them to get to know you in a deep level. So let the walls fall down and open up about Christ. Let people know who you are and why you are the way that you are and what impact Christ has made. These kinds of approaches to disciple making will have a greater effect than even the best gospel preaching will have.
Disciple making is not a series of steps to check off of a list to complete. It is a life time of Christ-centered giving and receiving. The reason that relationship will always work over religion is because it is real.
4. Disciple making is about love, not numbers.
Too many churches become too “seeker-sensitive” when they leave the gospel and focus on what the seeker is seeking, (which is usually not God if they have an old nature that dominates all before being changed by Christ) and focus on making the numbers big.
Jesus was not too concerned with numbers. Every time some wealthy, well ranked, and highly intelligent Pharisee seek what he has to do to join the gang, Jesus turns Him off by not being seeker-sensitive and says crazy things like “Sell all of your possessions and give them to the poor and then follow me.”
Christ was about loving the sinners, the lost, and the losers, because they needed Him the most. I really do believe that God gets greater glory from saving greater sinners into greater saints.
So this means that we are going to have to start by getting uncomfortable and loving some unlovely people and rejecting some lovely people as Christ seemed to always do.
5. Disciple making is Christ-centered, not self-centered.
When we make disciples it is important that we have a mission: Christ’s mission. And His mission was not about Himself, but about perfecting for Himself a bride.
So we need to make sure that we stay in prayer and as God to purge idols from our hearts.
The great reformers used to get up as early as 4 AM and pray for several hours before spending the entire days traveling and preaching during the great awakenings.
Protestant Reformer, Martin Luther said that “repentance is a lifestyle.” This is why repentance should be done daily as we seek to know God more. So repent, not out of guilt, for there is no condemnation for those in Christ (Romans 8:1), but out of passion to know God more. Idols are a great hindrance of that. And we all have idols that we constantly need to surrender before the Cross.
So let’s be others-centered before Christ and not self-centered. This will indeed take a lot of surrender before God for everyone. So don’t hesitate to tell God your needs.
6. Making disciples is about God’s glory.
Making disciples makes God glorious. Luke 19:40 tells us that when we don’t worship God, the rocks cry out to Him in our place. I don’t want stones in my drive way crying out to God because I am not giving Him the glory in my life.
So when we make disciples, remember we are not making disciples of ourselves, but of our master. And our master deserves all of the glory and majesty.
One day all of the nations of the earth are going to gather around the earth like a sea and be judged and justified one by one.
We, the church are justified by a glorious Savior, so let’s give Him worship by making disciples of Him.