How Disciple-Making Affects a Church

And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.  2 Timothy 2:2 (NIV)

Love God. Love others. Make Disciples. You will be hearing this simple purpose statement in our church more and more as God grants His grace to fulfill what we call “The Great Commandment” and the “Great Commission.” After Jesus was asked which is the greatest commandment, He replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40 (NIV)

All of the Law and Prophets represent the entire Old Testament. The very first thing and most important thing is to love God with our whole being and second to love others—neighbors. Jesus defined neighbors as those who could even despise us. The amount of love someone shows us is not a prerequisite of loving them back. We love because God first loved us.

Making disciples of all nations or people groups starts with each follower of Christ. He has called His followers to make disciples. Making disciples involves taking action. It starts with movement in our own heart and it is an outflow of our wholehearted love for God. If God does not take first place, too many other distractions and idols fill our lives and we can easily make excuses for not doing what God has commanded. We need the grace of God and His Holy Spirit to give us His power daily to do what He is asking. We often don’t feel “qualified” to make disciples or lead others to a point of repentance and faith in the Gospel. Thankfully, it is the Holy Spirit who convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgement. He goes before us. We are His messengers. We just need to be able to share our story of God’s work in us and know the Gospel story written in the Bible. God does the rest.

As we grow in our understanding of following Jesus, we all need accountability to continue to grow and pray for one another. We need to be challenged to have spiritual conversations with others so they eventually understand the Gospel. This kind of accountability happens best in small groups where we can be challenged to grow and reach out.

When our goal and purpose is to make disciples who make disciples, the church will grow deeper and we can reach more for His Kingdom.

In the days and months ahead you will hear more about how to get on this discipleship pathway if you are not already and how we all can continue to move as disciple makers for the Glory of God.
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Mark Anderson