The phrase “making disciples” in the context of evangelism is often hard, confusing, and pressure laden. Which is interesting, because why would Jesus commission us to do that if it were so taxing, even to the point of crippling? He says His yoke is easy and His burden is light and yet sometimes we feel this commission is some sort of mandate that is constantly weighing us down. Did we make enough disciples? Did we pray the right prayer? Did I succeed or fail?
None of these thoughts were what the Lord had in mind when we were commissioned. I believe the commissioning was meant to empower and to be somewhat of a spring board into ministry within our daily lives.
So what does making a disciple look like? Having someone repeat the coveted sinner’s prayer after you diligently explained Roman’s road? Now I am not cracking jokes on any of that for they are tools proven to bring forth clarity and understanding, but I am wanting to expand your idea of the process of making a disciple.
We become so caught up in the product that we forget to celebrate in the process. You see, the bible makes it clear, we are not responsible for the product, for it's the process we are invited in to through sowing and investing in the hearts of others, and at times we get to experience the harvest of our labor. I would go as far to say it isn’t about winning souls for Christ, it is about caring deeply for those around us, making ourselves available, and loving while serving them in the name of Jesus. It is God who redeems, heals, and saves, not Chris Armfield or Oliver Wong (our two pastors at CITYLIGHTS). However, we are able to show people the goodness and love of God.
We are able to know the Lord and to show Him to others by doing what we see Him do and by saying what we hear Him say. We were created in His image, so what if making a disciple were as simple as walking in His image? What if the idea of being and making a disciple were not two separate action steps but one? Walking in His image means that we would feed the hungry, clothe the naked, heal the sick, care for the co-worker who just lost a child, serve the next door neighbor through random acts of kindness, love on the family member that is hardest to get along with, and so much more! I am convinced that the more you do what you see God do and say what you hear God say, you will see the lost become found and the hurting healed all by the love of God.
So don’t allow the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game! If you are a disciple then you have the full ability to make many through EXTENDING the Kingdom of Heaven right where you are!
For greater understanding on what it looks like to EXTEND the Kingdom of God, check out our latest EQUIPPING Podcasts.
-By Sidney Ann Fowler, CITYLIGHTS Staff