Being a Disciple Part 3 – Discipling Others
Welcome back! This week we’re going to talk about letting God use us to make disciples. This episode was actually going to be a stand-alone episode on discipling others, but I realized that part of being a disciple, which is what the last two episodes were about, is letting God use us to make disciples. Jesus says that part of our being disciples is to make more disciples. This is called the Great Commission; it is found in Matthew chapter 28 verses 18-20 and is usually paired with the great commandment we talked about in the episodes on the Law of Love.
'And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 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, 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.” Amen.'
One of the biggest misconceptions of this verse is that only people who are missionaries can do this. You Don’t Have To Be A Missionary
When Christ says, “Go to all nations” he doesn’t mean the only way to make disciples is to go to other lands. 99.99% of all Christians in the early church, and since then I assume, never went anywhere but their hometown and the church multiplied. Yes, some people will go and start churches in other lands, but most will be witnesses in their own city, town, or even on their own block. If we all went somewhere else, no one would be here. So please don’t think you have to be a missionary to make disciples.
Sometimes it’s easier to go and make disciples than it is to be a disciple. What we teach most of the time is our personal opinion or the tenants of our theology. While neither one of these is bad, neither of them has the power to change like a relationship with Christ does. Whether we go abroad or stay at home, when we begin to make disciples, we shouldn’t rely on our own knowledge and abilities. As with all parts of our lives, we rely on the guidance and leadership of the Holy Spirit. Jesus says that when we go out to make disciples he is with us always and forever. If we try to do it in our own power, we end up like the Pharisees and make children of hell (Matthew 23:15) because we are teaching them to follow us or a certain dogma and not Christ.
Disciples Want To Make Disciples
I talked about this in the last two episodes so I’ll just touch on it again. If we are not being disciples, we can’t expect Christ to use us in making more disciples. We can’t give away something we don’t have. Start with the basics, read the bible, and pray every day. We have to start where we are. Don’t start with 2 hours of bible reading and prayer because that will last about two days. Start where you are and grow from there. You may want to start learning about other spiritual disciplines. There are several great books you can find on spiritual disciplines. My three favorites are The Spirit of the Disciplines by Dallas Willard. Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald S. Whitney. The best, in my opinion, is Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline. (Affiliate Links)
When God is working in our lives through the Holy Spirit we will have a desire to walk the road of spiritual formation with other people. I used to get frustrated at pastors who would expect everyone to be out saving the lost. They would say that you “MUST witness for Christ” or you “SHOULD share the gospel with everyone you meet.” It doesn’t work that way. We can’t give away something we don’t have
I heard a pastor tell a story about leaving a church service and going out to witness to a person on December 31st because he had set a goal to witness to 301 people that year.