Things Christians Need to Talk About: Being and Making Disciples
I have two groups of students I meet with on a weekly basis, a group that is 8-13, and another that is 13 and older. The purpose is to disciple young men to make them Disciples of Christ who make disciples. Yesterday, I took my two oldest, who are part of the younger group, to the store, and I witnessed (with a little prompting) my 11 and 8 year olds share the Gospel with about 6 people at once. To say I was proud is putting it mildly. It makes me also want to take both groups out to a field trip where they can share the Gospel in a much larger setting. Why am I talking about this? Because I take the call to make disciples very seriously. I just don’t disciple students, but have been making disciples since I started volunteering in 2006. This is a call that Jesus Himself commissioned to the Apostles, and we’re part of that same Great Commission. Nowadays, though, I wonder if people think making disciples is limited to the preacher, elders, or the church building.
The truth is, we’re all called to make disciples in every setting we’re in, and we’re always helping people to follow something whether we want to or not. I’ve observed it over and again that parents who faithfully attend church wonder why their kids are not excited about Jesus, but get excited about weekend outings, sports, and other activities. I’ve seen it happen over and again where people don’t feel close to God, but Christ and His Church is not a priority. We’re all products of what we follow, and we’re all disciples of something, and we’re all leading someone to something.
It is not only the preacher’s “job” to disciple, it’s the call of everyone who belongs to Christ. You are called to be a disciple of Jesus (And, perhaps, to walk with someone walking close to Jesus), and called to make disciples for Jesus. We’re all to spread the good news far and wide, and to teach and train others to walk with Christ so that they may also pass along the knowledge they receive. This has been going on for near 2,000 years, and it’s a proven system that Jesus instituted! We must be disciples, and, as disciples, make disciples so that as many as are willing will hear the call of Christ and live the life that honors and pleases Him. Romans 10:5-17 For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) “or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.