April 1 - Make Disciples
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. Matthew 28:18-20 (NKJV)
This is the mandate for the Church: "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations." Did you notice that Jesus has the authority (all authority) to give these orders? God, the Father, has authorized Jesus to lead the Church and to direct its activities. Therefore, the fulfillment of this mandate is an absolute priority for every follower of Christ.
Most of the time, when a person thinks of the Church, they think of the Church as a corporate entity. When considering the disciple-making process, the most effective disciple-making does not take place as a corporate entity. The most effective disciple-making occurs on a one-to-one, face-to-face, person-to-person, mature Believer-to-new Believer basis. That means that most disciple-making takes place when the Church as an individual member engages in mentoring a new convert.
We, as individual members of the Church cannot wait for the corporate Church to devise strategies for disciple-making; we must take responsibility for fulfilling this grand directive ourselves. That leads to a difficult question: "Who are you actively making and molding into a disciple?" There is a chance that you do not feel qualified or ready to engage in disciple-making...so, get qualified and get ready.
The strategy for making disciples is brilliant! It accomplishes two things right out of the gate:
Author's Note: I think that too often "we" think that "they" will do our job for us. When it comes to the Church--there is no "we" and "they," there is only "all of us." The responsibility to make disciples lands on all of us who belong to Jesus. We are a part of the Church that the Gates of Hades cannot prevail against. So, in the authority of Jesus--empowered by the Holy Spirit--let's go and make some disciples! RJD