“When the church becomes an end in itself, it ends. When Sunday school, as great as it is, becomes an end in itself, it ends. When small groups ministry becomes an end in itself, it ends. When the worship service becomes an end in itself, it ends. What we need is for discipleship to become the goal, and then the process never ends. The process is fluid. It is moving. It is active. It is a living thing. It must continue to go on. Every disciple must make disciples.”― Robby Gallaty
There is the Great Commission that we see clearly in Matthew 28:16-20 and demonstrated in the life of Jesus and his followers. Unfortunately, the American church has tried to modify the Great Commission so that it fits more comfortably into our every day life. Here are a few of the differences I see in the Great Commission in Jesus’s day and the way we try to live out the Great Commission today.
The Great Commission in Jesus’ Day
- You know that the Great Commission is to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…”
- You know that deep relationships are critical to fulfilling the Great Commission.
- You know that you must re-prioritize your life.
- You are experiencing a sense of adventure because you are living on God’s mission.
- You become deeply known and loved by others.
- You are primarily thinking about meeting the needs of others.
- You know that a disciple is someone who is making disciples.
“We reduce discipleship to a canned program, and so many in the church end up sidelined in a spectator mentality that delegates disciple making to pastors and professionals, ministers and missionaries.”― Francis Chan
The Great Commission Today
- You believe that the Great Commission is to attend worship services.
- You tend to limit spiritual growth to something that happens to you personally. You fail to realize that genuine spiritual growth will be demonstrated by getting out of your comfort zone and investing in the life of others.
- You tend to have to have too much dependence on programs (over personal relationships).
- You don’t experience deep relationships, which means you are not deeply known by others.
- You do not know the joy that comes from living on God’s mission because other priorities have become too important.
- You are primarily thinking about getting your needs met.
Simply feeling bad or guilty about not making disciples is not very helpful! HERE is an excellent article that will give you some ideas about how you can begin making disciples. HERE you will find some books that talk about the Great Commission. Another way to move into a life of meaningful discipleship is to talk with someone you know personally who is living it out. Maybe it is your pastor, maybe it is a friend in the church. Ask them if they will come alongside you to help you grow as a disciple who makes disciples.