In this post I will let you in on my plan and my dream! Read on and I hope you join the journey with me!
Yesterday I said that I would be letting you in on something that I will be doing this year. Well, here it is.
One of my “Faith” goals is to make one new disciple of Jesus, for Jesus this year.
Now, while that may not be too earth shattering to some, it is to me. I want to intentional find and lead another soul into a deeper relationship with Jesus. I have to tell you, I am scared and excited about it.
So, let me give you some background and then the plan.
This all begins with a simple question. I gave you a hint yesterday. Do you remember what it is? I asked: What was the last thing that Jesus asked and left for his disciples to do when he went back to heaven? He said it at the end of the Gospel of Matthew. Let’s read it:
18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 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, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20, ESV)
Jesus was given authority by his heavenly father, and with that authority Jesus commanded his disciples, both present and future, to go and make more disciples. That appears to be relatively straight forward. One would think that this would be something that the church and her members would spend a lot of time thinking about and doing. To some degree, we do a very good job of talking about discipleship. It is just in the execution of the plan that most of us get bogged down and even stall into failure.
Here is the gut check. In the time that you have been a Christian, have you ever, intentionally made a disciple? Now, before you answer that question, here is the definition of a disciple.
A disciple is someone who makes disciples.
This definition is designed to be both wide and narrow. It is wide because we are not designating “how” this happens. There are a multitude of factors that play into making disciples, and we will discuss some of those in the future. The “how” should never become more important than the “what.” When you claim to be a disciple there is a necessary byproduct to this profession.
Here is the simple truth of it. If we are disciples and we are NOT making disciples, we are misfiring is a very critical way. A brand new car, with no gas, is just as useless as a car with no engine. They both might look the same, but something vital to its work is missing. But, if the gas is added, then the one that has all the necessary components will work as it was designed to do.
The engine of the Christian life is the process of discipleship. Without it the Christian does not have what he or she needs to move towards God’s purposes. The gas that moves the discipleship engine is the Word of God. This is something that we will see.
But, this definition is also narrow because it identifies the expected “what” that should come from the process of discipleship. After a discple has been made, what should they do and what should they be? They should be disciples, followers of Jesus, who go and make more disciples that look like Jesus AND themselves! This is what I call the ELEVENone Principle.
Paul helps the Corinthians understand what it looks like to be disciples and to do what disciples do when they adhere to this one idea. Read if for yourself.
1Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. (1 Corinthians 1:1, ESV)
Here is the question that just grabs me and will not let go when I read this erse. Who is Paul asking the Corinthians to imitate?
Now before you go and give me to old, “Well I am not Paul” line. Let me ask this. Are you supposed to be? Whoever said that everybody had to be an apostle in order to make disciples or even say what Paul says here.
“It just sounds so prideful and arrogant.” “Who am I to ask someone else to do what I am doing?” Wow! With that kind of humility why shouldn’t we follow you! (Sorry, but this kind of thinking drives me crazy.) When did it become more faith-filled to avoid doing what the Bible points to us doing? Jesus never promised us a perfect, care-free life. Trials and trouble, sometimes, are what mark the life of a Christ follower.
The level of self-awareness and humble recognition that Paul is calling the Corinthian’s and all believers who read his words to is this, nobody can be for another what Jesus is for us. But that does not remove the responsibility that we have to be and become like Christ to those that God has placed in on our path.
I could go on and on here, but I will save some of this for later. Here is the bottom line. If you are a disciple of Jesus, then you need to be making disciples. No exceptions. No excuses. So, the question that we must as is why are we not intentionally making disciples? What is holding you back? Could it be that we do not know what to do even to get started? I know that this is exactly what the problem was for me and I am in full-time ministry!
So, this is what we are going to do. If you are interested in learning a simple way of growing closer to Jesus and helping others grow closer to Jesus, i.e., make disciples, this is what I want you to do.
Pray. Pray. Pray.
Pray that God would confirm his plan of using you to make one disciple of Jesus, for Jesus this year. Pray that God would start a fire in your heart for the souls of those whom God sends to intersect your path. If this is what you want to see in your life commit yourself to trying something new.
Today will be a time of prayer and reflection. Tomorrow, if you want to be a part of a plan to make one disciple of Jesus, for Jesus this year, I will share with you a simple process that will blow you away. It did for me!