As Christians, we are supposed to be “making disciples.” What disciples are you making? It’s a disturbing question. Don’t avoid it. Pick up a pen and paper or open a writing app and start a list. It’s scary. If you are like me, the blank page will stare back at you accusingly.
It’s not fair to say I give money to the church and it’s making disciples. Maybe your church is or maybe it isn’t. Most of the money goes to overhead. Most churches are just churning up the folks they’ve always had or have borrowed from the church down the street. They may be full on Sunday, but it’s questionable whether they are full of disciples. After all, a disciple is someone who is making disciples. Kind of a cruel circle isn’t it.
The sad truth is that the person who sits next to you on Sunday would probably have the same problem you are having in making a disciple list. It’s supposed to be our first priority. Remember “Seek first, the kingdom of heaven?” It’s not supposed to be something we turn to at the end of the workday or when we finally reach retirement age.
How “good and faithful” our service has been won’t be determined by the church services or activities we attended or the checks we’ve written. It’s about making disciples. Our churches really don’t encourage “making disciples.” Some encourage bringing folks to church. That’s apparently where they will be made into disciples, but it’s not happening.
In church we aren’t creating disciples, we are creating spiritual consumers. We go to church to be “fed” literally and spiritually. We want to come away bolstered by a sermon and encouraged by worship songs. We don’t walk away better equipped to “make disciples.” If we were, our lists wouldn’t be so blank.
If you want to start being a disciple by making disciples look at the blank page where you started your disciple list and instead start writing down the names of potential disciples. Don’t leave off family members, co-workers or neighbors. Be bold and include the folks at church and the people you meet every day. Next, to each name make a note how you will take the first step in bringing them closer to being a loving follower of Jesus.
Congratulate yourself. You have finally started to be a real disciple. Feels good, doesn’t it?