Go and Make… 04/18/20
It’s dangerous for me to spend time thinking about my calling, and about the calling of our church. Our Mission Statement says we exist to know Him and to make Him known. I find myself wondering, “How’re we doing?” The Great Commission says; Matthew 28:19-20 ~
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
We’re already a part of going into all the world, we exist because someone did just that. In fact, there are a string of “someones” starting in Jerusalem in the first century, spreading into Europe, and ultimately to North America. But much more recently, a group of people had a vision; there was no testimony to Jesus Christ on the island or in our immediate area. The nearest church was in Shelton or Allyn. So they planted a church, and ultimately built a building for the church to meet in.
Now, I find myself wondering, “What’s next?” Here we are, a very nice and friendly church filled with people who love Jesus. We are a group of believers, but… are we disciples? What, exactly, might the difference be? What’s more, what are we doing to reproduce, to make more disciples?
Are sermons enough? Certainly not. Are Bible studies enough? Not really. Are prayer meetings enough? They are necessary, but they are not enough. How about Life Groups; now we’re getting closer. These are all things that we do, but I think we still have a disconnect. My sense is we’re still missing an important component. Would anyone miss us if the church folded?
Now, I know we’re just coming out of a pandemic, that would be hard to miss. It has taken its toll on our church just as it has every other church or business. However, sooner or later, at some point, I think we just need to get back to work. Now is probably very close to that time. Where do we start? Well, with Jesus of course.
If we look at Jesus’ ministry style there was a more relational approach than a program approach. He had a small group, roughly analogous to our Life Groups, that He breathed His life into. Are our Life Groups producing the same kind of results Jesus’ did? I wonder if there is the accountability in our Life Groups to produce real growth? But Jesus also did something else. He took a sub-group of people who became His inner circle. What would that look like if we did it?
There’s definitely an evangelism aspect to all this, and we have to have people coming to know Jesus in order to teach them to obey everything He said. But to be honest, we aren’t seeing those new converts. I want to see people coming to faith in Jesus Christ and having their lives transformed. I know we have people gifted in evangelism within our congregation. But… are we ready to take a new convert, a believer, and make them into disciples? Honestly, I’m not so sure we are. If this is true, why would God entrust babes in Christ into our care?
To be honest, I’m not really sure where I’m going with this. So, we’re not done with this topic. I have some ideas that I’m testing. I also have some more research to do. Join with me as I pray about this. Are there changes I need to make personally? Are their changes we need to make corporately? Honestly, I’m not sure. I just feel myself being stirred up, and I don’t know what God is doing yet.
I suppose, at the end of the day, if I’m going to have to be uncomfortable I’d like you to be uncomfortable with me.