and make disciples
of all the nations.”(Matthew 28:27 NKJ)
Jesus simply instructed His disciples to go out into the world and be change-agents for the Kingdom of God. Interestingly, Jesus did not say, go out into the streets, round up as many people as you can, then bring them into a church building so the preacher can tell them about Jesus and call them to repentance. Rather, it seems that Jesus was putting the responsibility upon each disciple to go, interact with and engage those with whom they came in contact with, allowing the life that they lived before God to be proof-tested in the eyes of others. And, in the midst of these encounters they would journey with those coming to discover Christ for themselves first hand.
Jesus didn’t say, go and make decisions, or go and make converts, or go and lead them in the ‘sinner’s prayer.’ All of these could be done in an afternoon, or a one one-hour church service. But this is not what Jesus wanted – He wanted disciples, which is a byproduct of on-going relationships. When we reduce the Great Commission to a tag-on to the end of a church service, or an isolated event where the goal is to get people to the altar to pray the prayer, we may be in danger of cheapening the true gospel and leading people astray, for this is not the biblical expression of making disciples. This is not to say that the challenge to surrender one’s life and follow Christ should not be part of our corporate gatherings. Rather, it is to say Christ distributed the responsibility to everyone, everywhere, not simply clergy on Sunday.
What does it mean to go and make disciples in the culture we live in?
How is this different than going and telling them about Jesus?
What are some symptoms of our cultures openness/hunger for spiritual things?