Tuesday, April 27, 2010
It’s Time to develop a passion for the Great Commission
The numerical decline of the church in America is not as tragic as the fact that the church in America is losing its ability to influence society. Not just the church but individual Christians as well. News reports generally show a remarkable similarity in the lifestyles and choices of Christians and non-Christians. As we continue to fail in our mandate to make disciples, we keep finding it harder to differentiate ourselves in life from those who are non- or even anti- Christian. The church can impact the world not by creating more converts but by making disciples. Evangelism involves a process that begins with a personal decision and is not finished until the fish becomes a fisherman.
Many Christians are afraid to share their faith because of the fear of rejection. They might wind up losing a friend. However, we must be mindful of the fact that it is not us that they are rejecting. It is Jesus. You can still be friends. You can still pray.
Another barrier to evangelism is that many Christians are unsure of how to share the gospel. Well, you don’t have scream, put on a suit or, even, thump a Bible. One effective technique is simply sharing what faith in Jesus has meant in your life. Remember the man born blind (John 9)? He simply said, “I once was blind but now I see.”
Inviting someone to church is another effective technique. The famous apostle, Peter was introduced to Jesus by his less familiar brother, Andrew. The Woman at the Well brought many in her village to meet Jesus (John 4).
It’s important to note that baptizing comes before teaching. We are called to belong as well as believe and belonging starts before a decision for Christ can be made. We need to build relationships with people as part of evangelism. Involve yourself in the lives of unchurched people. Invite them over for coffee. People are usually open to talking about spiritual matters with people they know.
Teaching is an essential part of disciple-making and the biggest part of the process is small group ministry. It combines community building with Bible study. It gives close attention to the spiritual, physical and emotional needs of all who participate. If you are a mature Christian you need to help lead a small group.
Modeling is, also, part of the process. You are a disciple-maker. If you are a SS teacher you are a disciple-maker. If you are a Deacon, you are a disciple-maker. If you are a leader, you are a disciple maker. If you are a CHRISTIAN you are a Disciple maker.
Your goal as a disciple-maker is not to make people smarter about the Bible. It is to make people more like Christ. Your goal as a disciple-maker is not to grow your class larger. It is to send people out into ministry. Our success as a disciple-making church is not measured in how many people we can gather on Sunday morning. It is measured in how many are working to build the kingdom.