References: Matthew 28:19-20
Ever notice how great the world is at making disciples? Just visit a skate park, strap on a helmet, stand by a group of kids and say, “I wonder how to do a Pop-Shove-It?” You’ll instantly be surrounded by veteran skaters eager to demonstrate how to slide your feet, hop in the air, spin your skateboard 180° and land without suffering great bodily harm. Skaters will tirelessly demonstrate, guide and instruct until they can slap your shoulder in congratulations for finally completing the move on your own. Then they’ll teach you every other trick they know, until one day you find yourself teaching some new kid their very first skateboard trick.
Not into skating? Visit your local natural foods store, stare blankly at a shelf and say in the midst of other shoppers, “I wonder where to find gluten free pasta?” You’ll most likely spend the next 20 minutes following a gluten-intolerant person around the store while they point out the best gluten-free pastas, breads and cake mixes. They’ll recommend informative websites and local restaurants that are known for accommodating this special dietary need. They might even share their phone number should you need help navigating your strange new gluten-free world.
Then there’s the Andy Mackie, the Harmonica Man, who has spent the past thirteen years of his life personally purchasing and donating over 20,000 harmonicas to school children and teaching them to play. He also teaches older students to play the fiddle, and trains them to teach the younger children. He even created a foundation that provides continuing education scholarships and funds several shops to build new instruments that will be given to children who have never before held one.
When was the last time you saw disciple-makers for the kingdom of Heaven with this level of commitment? When have you heard someone despair over the pressures of their messed-up life, and watched a group of Christians offer to walk that road with them? Not just to lead them in a sinner’s prayer, pat them on the shoulder and then send them on their way. But to actually introduce them to Jesus, invite them to church, provide them with a Bible and help them navigate through God’s word and their newfound-faith; until finally, this new disciple begins making other disciples.
The world continues to make all kinds of disciples: video gamers, marathon runners, political parties, musicians, bloggers. Shouldn’t we, who already know the Living Word, the very Son of God, be the most active disciple-makers in the world?
We often skip over the second part of His command in Matthew 28. We’re fond of quoting verse 19 – “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….” But here’s the completion of that sentence in verse 20 that we usually fail to quote: “and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. (NIV)
Have you ever made a disciple? What’s stopping you?
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