So What is the big deal with discipleship anyway?
You hear me talking about discipleship, and it's the core of our ministry, but why?
Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
After Jesus rose from the dead, he spent 40 days with different people before his final ascention. What was he doing all this time? The Bible doesn't record in detail what he said or all of what he did, but I believe that this teaching that he gave at the Great Commission was primary.
We are to
Notice that it doesn't tell us to become disciples of Jesus, but to make disciples of Jesus.
What is a Disciple? A disciple is a student or apprentice, in our case it's a student or apprentice of Jesus Christ.
So if we were to make a disciple, that would mean that we are a teacher and a trainer. So what things would be involved in being a disciple maker?
Sharing the Gospel: This has to be the foundation of any discipleship because without salvation, what can we build upon. Even for those who are saved, there is a great amount to learn about salvation.
Bible Study: Training in theology or the study of God, how to study the Bible with a literal, historical, grammatical approach to studying the bible is important to get "what the Bible means", instead of a weak devotional "what does the Bible mean to me" approach.
Daily living: How do we take what we know to be true from the Bible and apply it to every day living.
Local Church Interaction: It is important to find a Biblical Church that we may serve in. Christians were not meant to be little islands, but a great community.
Evangelism: With such a great gift that has been given to us, why would we not want to share it with others. The Bible encourages us to always be ready to give an explanation for the hope that is within us, and we should not be lazy in preparing for these opportunities.
This is what The Discipleship Center is all about. We are not a guarantee that people who come through our doors will leave as Christians serving the Lord with all heart, soul and mind, but we are an opportunity where people will see Christ lived out, and taught consistently for a period of time in a safe environment where they don't have to be bothered with all the cares of daily life.
When the sheep are with the shepherd every day, and see that the sacred and the mundane are one in the same, then they will begin to trust and follow, and eventually they can be in the place where they are able to lead others.
So back to the big deal
When we die, we know that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. I am not worried in the least bit that I have placed my hope in Jesus Christ in vain and that he will let me down in the end.
However, that doesn't mean that we will not be held accountable for how we live our life. When I die, I want to hear Jesus tell me, despite my many failings, "Well done, good and faithful servant". But when the last and greatest commandment he left us with had to do with making disciples, if we can't be bothered to invest in others lives for the Kingdom, why should we expect to hear any commendation when we die? At the most we should expect something more like "well, at least you made it".
I want to be able to walk through the Kingdom, co-ruling with Christ and look around and see people who I personally trained, and generations of disciples after them who could all look at me and say "it started with that guy and his little farm".
That's a big deal for me.