Making my way home from church, with the sun shining down, the heat beating against my skin and the sound of Tim Hughes’ “God of Justice” playing in my ears it happened, I was struck once again by the pull towards the Great Commission.
But since that time the pull has been different. I’m not sure about you but I’ve always thought of it as a global thing, in the sense that we have been all called to do the same thing.
“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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matt 28: 19-20)
The word that struck me this time was disciples.
The dictionary tells me that a disciple is a follower or pupil of a teacher, leader, or philosopher. We have the example of those people who lived and learned by the feet of Yeshua, these were his disciples. When it came to choosing someone who would take the place of Judas, it was from one of these people that a replacement was found.
How many of us have actually thought about the great commission as anything more than evangelising and spreading the Word of the Gospel? But there is so much more to it than that.
We are called to “Go and make disciples”.
Take a moment and stop and think about it.
Paul had his disciples, John the Baptist, Peter, in fact, all through the Bible you have examples of Discipleship.
Part of our growth into maturity and ministry as Believers has to be our ability to go and make disciples, without discipleship, there is no continuity of faith but so many people get stuck before they even reach this phase.
And I think there are a number of reasons why.
On one side discipleship has been left to church-leaders and planters because of a belief that this is their domain, but funny enough after evangelism nothing more has been done to support new church members after they come in.
On the other side, a lack of confidence in your own growth as a Believer can stop you from stepping out as a teacher, thought-leader, mentor or guide which is where I think a lot of the problem lies.
In many ways, Christians today especially Christian women have been socialised into being humble and submissive in an ungodly way because it disempowers their effectiveness of vessels set apart to perform works for the furtherance of God’s Kingdom. If you’re too busy worrying about your own worthiness and stuck in your head then the devil has made you ineffective.
Wherever you are in your journey you can be sure that someone is behind you needing you to pave a way so that they can move forward.
That’s one thing but there is also another issue maybe even bigger and at the heart of the problem.
And it’s not being you.
Every day I hear people say that we are all unique yet how many people actually embrace their uniqueness? How many times do we run afraid because we feel that who we are isn’t good enough, that if we were to be who we truly are we might miss out on the esteem, respect, love or sense of security provided by those around us?
How many times do we hide and pretend, make ourselves smaller and more “normal” to be loved and accepted?
If you are doing this then you are in real danger of not fulfilling the Great Commission.
And the reason why is that it requires you to be you, not who you think you should be, not who others think you should be but who YHWH created you to be.
There are a million and more people out there doing the same thing but in order to become a disciple-maker, to fulfil the work you have been called to do you have to have something that draws people to you. Your own uniqueness, your own message, your experiences, the way you view the world, your faith-walk is what will draw people to you.
Discipleship isn’t about convincing people to believe or to accept the Gospel through intelligence and argument. It is not about force at all, it is about drawing people in. Just like a magnet, Yeshua drew men onto Him, He didn’t worry about people-pleasing He knew that there would be some people who wouldn’t accept Him but He understood that the only things that would come out of His mouth were the Words that His Father planted in Him.
To be a true Disciple-maker you have to be courageous and bold enough to be you because it’s not your truth that you are denying it is the Truth of God’s Kingdom that He has planted within you.
We hear people talking about not being ashamed of the Good-News but shame can show up in so many different ways. We all have work to do and that work is too precious to allow the enemy or other people to have power over the Higher call on our lives.
You have been called to Go Forth and Make Disciples, it’s time that you looked at yourself as someone worthy of having people listen to you and follow.
That’s one thing I have loved about my own journey, discovering my own I-Amness and my gifts as a teacher and a coach. Yes, I may be different in my approach but have I drawn people in? Yes. And have I pointed them back to Christ? Yes.
If I allow the views of other people to stop me because I am shining the Light the God gave me I wouldn’t be able to reach the people I have reached or make the difference in the world that I have.
And I know that there is so much more to do, and it takes the boldness of saying no to Man and saying “Yes Lord, send Me” instead.