We Are: Disciple Makers
Jennifer Shock |
September 17, 2023
We Are Disciple Makers
This message comes from the final week of our series exploring our identity as a church community. Over the past several weeks we've looked at how we are beloved worshippers, engaged with the world, empowered by the Spirit, generous givers, and unified as one body in Christ. Today I want to focus on one more aspect of who we are: we are disciple makers.
What does it mean to be a disciple maker? First, we have to understand what a disciple is. A disciple is simply a follower of Jesus. Before we can make disciples, we must be disciples ourselves.
I still remember when I first decided to follow Jesus at age 12. I heard the gospel, accepted Christ as my Savior, and was baptized. My journey as a disciple had begun! As disciples, we seek to live out three priorities: be with Jesus, become like Him, and do what He did. The Holy Spirit empowers us in all three areas.
The aspect I want to focus on today is "doing what Jesus did." One of the main things Jesus did during his earthly ministry was make disciples. He didn't just heal, preach, and serve—he specifically invested in 12 disciples and trained them to carry on his work. At the end of Matthew's gospel, Jesus gave his disciples what we call the Great Commission: "Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you."
This was his final instruction before ascending to Heaven. Jesus intended for disciple-making to continue through his followers, generation after generation until the whole world hears the gospel. Just imagine if those first disciples had declined this call, deciding to simply enjoy their relationship with Christ. We wouldn't have the church today! But they took Jesus' command personally and passed on what they had learned.
Friends, this same commission is for us. As we go through life, we are called to make more disciples. We do this by sharing our faith, leading people to accept Christ, and then walking alongside them to help them grow. We teach them to abide in Christ, become like Him, and join His mission. I like to think of it as a parent/child relationship - we guide those a little behind us on the journey.
Now, discipling others can feel intimidating. We may worry that we don't have enough wisdom or energy ourselves. But remember, we're not the source—God is! He promises to fill and equip us as we make ourselves available to invest in others.
My prayer is that each of us would see disciple-making as our calling. Jesus took ordinary people like fishermen and tax collectors and transformed them into world-changers. He wants to use you too! You may feel small, but He will multiply your investment exponentially for His glory.
Let's look to Jesus' example with his disciples. He patiently taught them, corrected them, encouraged them, and walked with them. We get to invite others to "walk with us as we walk with Jesus." It's that simple.
You don't need to overcomplicate this or wait to be "qualified." Just take the small step of asking God to show you one person you can begin discipling. He has already surrounded you with the relationships you need.
Friends, the time is now. The harvest is plentiful. Will you join Jesus in His mission to make disciples of all nations? He promises that He is with us always, even to the end of the age. I can't wait to see all that God accomplishes through each of us as disciple makers!