I am incredibly thankful for two men in my life that took the time to pursue me as a young man and began a process of discipleship that continues to have daily influence. Those experiences allow me to share with you a passion of mine that continues to grow.
Pastors and churches around the globe are realizing at a greater velocity the need and importance of this biblical mandate (Matthew 28:19-20) called discipleship.
Can you imagine congregations, ministries, and communities saturated with mature followers of Christ willing to do whatever it takes to further the Kingdom of God?
The book on status quo to mediocrity has been written and read way too many times. God deserves our very best. That’s why He gave us a simple map to follow on this journey. There are undeniable and foundational reasons for Biblical discipleship. Allow me to list a few to think about.
- Jesus Expects It – Jesus said as we are going, make disciples. He didn’t say host a weekly worship experience and you are good to go! “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matt. 28:19-20)
- Disciples Evangelize – Every disciple should be passionate about making the Gospel known to the world. Disciples intuitively show and tell others about the Jesus who has transformed their own lives.
- A Disciple-Making Church and Ministry is Never Void of Leaders – One of the most tragic realities in a church or ministry today is to see that organization void of leaders necessary to accomplish the vision and mission set before them. Disciple-makers produce leaders who produce leaders.
- Disciple-Making Transforms the Dynamic – A church or ministry that has a core value of disciple-making has people that exhibit “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control,” the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). A church or a ministry organization made up of people exhibiting these characteristics is a magnet for both believers and unbelievers. People want to be a part of a culture of trust, unity, and purpose.
- Disciple-Making Transforms Households – Imagine more men, women, husbands, and wives on a journey striving to become fully devoted Christ-followers modeling, nurturing, and raising children to be disciples. That kind of influence changes a generation and impacts culture. “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down and when you rise.” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7)
These “whys” of disciple-making will make your church or ministry organization stronger. This is certainly not an exhaustive list. I encourage you to dig into God’s Holy Scripture and find some others.
One thing is for sure: these “whys,” as well as others you will discover, make us as individuals, families, churches, and ministries more spiritually mature and better equipped to carry out this Biblical mandate with Kingdom class.
Have you had people in your life who have discipled you? What kind of impact have they had in your life?
Barry Sneed is the Executive Director of the Medi-Share Pastor’s Alliance at Christian Care Ministry. As a former pastor with more than 20 years of ministry experience, he has a heart for serving and supporting church leaders.