I grew up on a farm in middle Tennessee. My dad grew all kinds of crops, and it involved a lot of hard work. I never once heard him say, “Let’s just leave the crop in the field this year.” Nor did he ever mention depending on someone else to harvest what we’d worked hard to produce. Imagine that.
Making a point to his disciples on one occasion, Jesus said, Open your eyes and look at the fields because they are ready for harvest. (John 4:35) Get this, he wasn’t fretting about barley and wheat; Jesus was pointing to human souls! He longed for his disciples (us included) to understand souls are “ripe for picking.”
To think a farmer would leave crops in the field is nonsense and ignoring the ready harvest of souls is to gravely misunderstand our responsibility as disciples of Jesus.
It was Jesus’ mission to build and mobilize an “army” that proactively engages the world with the good news of salvation. It is our calling to suit-up in “the whole armor of God” (see Ephesians 6) and do battle for his Kingdom. Our duty is to make disciples who will make more disciples and so on down through all generations. It’s what mature Christians do. We are a “sent” people.
Great, but how?!
Most reading this have heard this sermon before; probably many times. The question is, were you challenged in a lasting way to do anything about it? Were you even told how to make a disciple?
It’s all true and necessary, of course. Jesus’ mandate to make disciples (Matt. 28:18-20) is as urgent today as it was twenty centuries past. But what is our individual responsibility, and how do we go about it in a society increasingly hostile to the message? P.S. If you doubt there’s putrid, vitriolic hostility toward our faith, ask me about recent comments appearing on Timothy Network’s Facebook Page.
It’s hard to count the gospel meetings I sat through or visiting missionaries I heard challenging the church to be evangelistic. Some of the gospel meetings were real “nail biters,” bringing feelings of shame over our evangelistic malaise. I, for one, struggled with the guilt. Then came the time in my life when I was taught, shown, and experienced what it means to be a disciple of Jesus and how to disciple others. There it was, right our noses all the time but never highlighted. I’m talking about the picture-perfect example of Jesus taking a few men into his care, patiently investing his life in them, teaching them about the Kingdom of God, and releasing them to repeat the same process with others. Jesus modeled “the how.”
Contact us if you’d like to experience the adventure of relational disciple making. It’s both our passion to make disciples and also equip and train multiplying disciple makers. We’ll help you plug in with a discipling leader and a small circle of 2 or 3 others. You’ll experience camaraderie with a small group of believers, transformational discipleship, and learn the basic skills required to disciple others. There will be on-the-job training, too. 😊
The current pandemic is teaching us new tricks, so we’re available for virtual meetings on “Zoom” if you have an interest in starting now. Our contact information is given below.
Hope to meet you soon!