We recently concluded a series at our church called, The Mission: What Jesus Calls Us To Do. Throughout the series, we’ve seen how Jesus transformed a rag-tag group of renegades into fully trained disciple makers.
Jesus made disciples who would make other disciples by INVITING them into deep levels of commitment. Jesus started with those that were spiritually seeking and invited them to “Come & See”. Then He invited them to cross the line of faith and “Commit to Follow Me”. After becoming a follower of Jesus, He then invited His disciples to “Be on Mission With Me” and become fishers of men. The final invitation Jesus gave was to “Bear Fruit Through Me”. This was an invitation to multiple the Kingdom of God by making other disciples who would make even more disciples.
Jesus made disciples who would make disciples using 4 INVITATIONS: 1) Come & See, 2) Commit to Follow Me, 3) Be on Mission With Me, 4) Bear Fruit Through Me.
Jesus needed fully equipped men who were capable of making disciples that could make other disciples in order to begin a movement that would carry the Gospel to the ends of the earth. So He made it abundantly clear that being a disciple maker is the very essence of being a Christian. The New Testament church understood that following Jesus involved two things: Knowing Christ & Making Christ Known.
But for some reason in the 21st Century we have separate the two. We have concluded that knowing Christ is DISCIPLESHIP & making Christ known is EVANGELISM.
The problem with this distinction is that Jesus never made it! Jesus didn’t command us to “go and do discipleship” nor did He say “go and do evangelism”. Jesus commanded us to go and “make disciples” and disciple-making is where the very heart of evangelism and discipleship meet.
Disciple-Making is the whole process of leading people to Christ (evangelism), growing them up in Christ (discipleship), and sending them out to repeat the process with others.
Luke 10:21 says that Jesus was “full of joy” after the return of the 72 disciples He sent out to carry the Gospel to the surrounding cities and towns. I am convinced that one of the reasons Jesus rejoiced is because His disciples had become disciple makers. After 3 years of pouring His life into these men, He now knows they are at a point where they can invest in others! Jesus also knows that some 2000 years later you and I would be His followers because He had made disciples who could make other disciples!
And He’s calling us to exact same thing! Jesus has chosen us & appointed us to GO & bear fruit by…
- Reaching people with the Gospel
- Helping them grow in Christ
- Equipping them to fish for men
- And sending them out to repeat the process.
In order to be disciple-makers, we have to realize that God has given each and everyone of us a PURPOSE – “make disciples”. And He’s given each of us a PLATFORM – the relationships where live, work, & play.