“We have generated a body of people who consume Christian services and think that that is Christian faith. Consumption of Christian services replaces obedience to Christ. And spirituality is one more thing to consume.” -Dallas Willard
My Youth Pastor and I were at an EFCA Discipleship Cohort last year when I had my ‘aha moment.’ The realization began to sink in that many churches do a decent job when it comes to helping people to grow as disciples. Preaching, programs, Life Groups, are all geared to help people to become more like Jesus Christ. But how much time and energy do we spend as leaders in the church helping people to become disciple makers?
Jesus’ master plan was not to merely help people become more spiritually mature, his plan also included mentoring them so that they could go out and make disciples once he was gone.
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 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.” -Matthew 28:16-20
The point I am trying to make is that we must go beyond making disciples and make disciple makers. Jesus showed us the way by spending large amounts of time with his disciples. Jesus invested his life into a small number of men so that they would go out and do likewise. We as leaders in the church today are fooling ourselves if we think we can devise a better strategy than Jesus for changing the world.
We have had Life Groups here at New Life Church for a long time, and we will continue to do them. What we have begun to do that is new is what we are calling Life Transformation Groups. The primary goal for putting together these Life Transformation Groups is to see men and women go beyond thinking about their own spiritual growth and to begin investing their lives into others so that they too will become more like Christ. This mission of making disciple makers is not just something for pastors, missionaries or paid staff. This Great Commission is something that every single person can do. I will take it a step further. I believe it is what every single Christian is called to do.
As always, I would love to hear your thoughts, ideas and questions!