How different would the lives of those around us be, if we got serious about Discipleship?
In the RNM Series “Making Disciples is for Everyone”, Robby Gallaty asks: “What is the goal of equipping believers?” Equipping for what, Discipling? Are new believer’s immediately a Disciple of Christ? Or are we made into one? When you get some good news, who is the first person you want to share it with? Probably those whom you love the most.
Robby also says, “Get involved in the church – you can’t do it (getting equipped) on your own. Discipleship happens in the context of the local church. Don’t be a lone ranger Christian.” But he also emphasizes that the First Church is our Home. When mom and dad love Jesus, their children will learn to as well. Slow down and be intentional about discipling your children and those closest to you. We are to model and show. Equipping them is helping others get what they need as they seek to learn. Helping them grow in the faith. Pastor George shared in Sunday’s message that when we do, it’s amazing what we can take in, when we bring people along side us and pour into them, build them up. Robby Gallaty stated that “Ministry is the Pathway to Maturity: You Grow Through Making Disciples.” So not only are we growing the faith of those we love but in doing so we too mature in our faith. It’s how to be transformed and transform others! It’s mandated to us in Matthew 28:19,20 “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”.
Are we all called into this ministry of a Disciple maker? Robby Gallaty addressees 3 myths: The mentor myth…that only trained professionals can do ministry. The ministry myth…that we are not equipped enough to do ministry. And the maturity myth…we are not mature enough, having not been a Christian long enough to Disciple others. Did you catch that, they are all myths! In Matthew’s verse above it tells to GO! In other words, do it!
David Platt in the RNM Video “Every Disciple making Disciples”, shares that every Christian has the Spirit of God within them for leading others to Christ. By Sharing, we are reaching out, it’s the joy of sharing the Gospel, the Good News. Going outward to share is a responsibility, to share what we know; Baptizing, being a member of the Body of Christ, belonging to a Community of Believers to grow through community (not a lone ranger Christian); and Teaching, being the example, as we are commanded to share the Good News, with the power of the Spirit within us! The results: multiplying churches, where the people are the church, fishers of men. We heard it said, Empower the People. If you seek to build a church, you rarely get disciples. If you seek to build disciples, you always get the church, says David.
So, who’s to seek after these disciples? What does scripture say? Ephesians 4:11 reads “ And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”. This role is for each of us, to Disciple others. We can’t expect from others that which we are not willing to do ourselves. As we prayed Sunday, “use us to invite others into that relationship with you”.
So, who are you most like when it comes to following and telling of Jesus: Andrew and Philip, ready, going, spreading the news; Or Peter, are you a new creation, at the starting line? How about like Nathanael, moving from doubt to strong believer? Whichever stage you find yourself in, it’s there that you too can be a disciple. Investing in the lives of others. Remember, as they grow so shall you!
Henry Cloud in the RNM Series “Personal Development for Leaders” says; that we are to be Servant Leaders. Developing people so that they can perform. He relates developing people to the parable of the fig tree, just because it doesn’t bear fruit don’t cut it down. Instead we can show grace where needed to help them grow. We need to wait, be patient with people. To dig around, help them to grow, to learn, to seek His Truth’s. Giving it time. It’s in God’s timing anyway, not ours. We are just commanded to Go and make Disciples of all nations. But paying close attention to those right in our own back yard, because that is where God has placed us to be his servant. Our Discipleship mission starts right where we are, right now. And through the process we all will be transformed to a deeper love and relationship with Him.
Larry and Darlene