Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
This is the plan. This is how the word will continue to get out — how the gospel will go forth, and how the church will be built. It will happen by disciples making disciples. And it continues to be the same call to all of us today.
Now it’s important to note here that this is not the work of just a few of us. This is not, as some might think, the work of pastoral professionals. Some think this is what pastors go to seminary for — to learn how to disciple their congregations. If you are being taught by Jesus, you are by definition also a discipler — one who makes disciples.
Some of you are freaking out about now, saying, “I’m not ready to disciple anybody. I just barely got started myself.” Or, “Discipling isn’t my spiritual gift.” Or, “Do you guys know of a course notebook I could use?”
Discipling is nothing more than taking someone along with you. You walk and you talk and as you talk, you share what Jesus has taught you so far. “Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you,” Jesus said. You share what you know — what Jesus has taught you (so far). You can’t teach what you don’t know, so no one is asking you to do that.
Keep in mind, you can’t make anyone want to follow Christ. They will be teachable. Don’t force anything. You’ll be sharing with people who want to know.
This week, we’re going to be focused on one word, “Out.” The prophetic word from the Lord for today is “out.” Time to get out in the world. Out into the workplace… out into your neighborhood… Out into your community… out. We’ve been focused inward for too long. True, we’ve had to be with sheltering requirements, but we’ve gotten uncomfortably comfortable with it. Too much static. Too much focusing on self and growing stagnant. Time to get out. Jesus said “Go …”.
For decades the evangelical church has been based on “come.” Come to the crusade. Come hear the gospel. Come down front and receive Christ. Come to church. I think we liked “come” so much because all we had to do is show up. But Jesus sent his disciples out, and it was their job to make disciples and teach them. That’s where we are now. We’re continuously being taught in the word, and through the Holy Spirit, we’re continuously giving out from what we are learning.
After the closing scene from the movie, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” I remember being in the theater gathering up my things to leave when after the credits finish rolling, Matthew Broderick, the leading actor, walks up to the camera with an incredulous look on his face, and says, “You’re still here? It’s over. Go…”
That’s just what Jesus said to his disciples and what He says to us today. You’re still here standing around waiting for something else to happen? It’s over. My work on earth is done. I’m leaving it to you now, my disciples, to build my church. Wait for the Holy Spirit, who will empower you, and go make disciples. And don’t worry because I am with you always. Go.
The Catch Ministry is in the business of developing disciples. That is our purpose. Why? That we might fulfill our vision to introduce the Gospel of Welcome to Everyone, Everywhere.