Want to start off by thanking everyone who praying for me while I was in Haiti. This is post I read not long ago and think it is so true. I have heard countless times Christians say that they will witness to others when they get a chance when a door opens and that is good but that isn’t where it ends. We are called to GO and make disciples, making disciples is something that must be intentional, we must make an effort.
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.”
The passage above is commonly known as “The Great Commission”. Jesus spoke these words to his followers before ascending back to heaven to be with the Father. His followers were left to discover the Holy Spirit and to change the world through one simple process – making and multiplying disciples [learners] of Jesus. Many people teach on this passage… most of us don’t regularly obey it. Below are five of the more common myths about the Great Commission that lead us to miss out on disciple making.
1. The myth of accidental discipleship. Many Christians think, consciously or unconsciously, that we can make disciples without changing anything in our daily lives; that as we go about doing our own thing, disciples will be almost accidentally made. This comes across in phrases like, “I will just live my daily life and if someone wants to ask about the Gospel, I will share it”, or, “I just ‘do life’ with others and pray that they will start becoming interested in Jesus”. Many Christians are willing to talk about or declare the Gospel, but only if opportunities pleasantly come their way. They are waiting for the perfect moment to drop from the sky upon them to actually verbalize the Gospel or start demonstrating the Gospel. The myth here is that merely “doing life” with others is a straight path to making disciples.
Like all pervasive myths, this one contains a nugget of truth, but it is incomplete: living your life with others is a part of making disciples, but without intentional proclamation and demonstration of the Gospel, just doing life with others will not lead alone to making and multiplying disciples. The ministry of Jesus is a great example: Jesus did life with others, but every step of the way he prayed, planned, and pursued intentionally the growth and transformation of his followers. Jesus lived a very intentional life. For example, Jesus did not just happen upon 12 disciples accidentally. He spent all night in prayer before selecting his disciples. He carefully, strategically, and prayerfully developed his followers. Thus, he modeled a distinct process of how to make disciples (for more on this process, see the classic outline in The Master Plan of Evangelism).
In fact, the Greek text of the Great Commission conveys intentionality. There is a participle in the Greek used in the Great Commission that implies that “going” is the intentional action that has to take place in order to achieve “making disciples”. The nations will never become disciples if people do not go to them. In other words, “going” is the prerequisite of “making disciples”. Alas! Intentionality is built into the very words of the Great Commission!
The bottom line here is that the Great Commission will be completed only by intentional action and resoluteness. Jesus commands us today to set our eyes on the goal of disciple making and pursue that goal with stubborn focus. This means, that unless you pray and plan to make disciples, you won’t do it!