“We should never be shocked by the spiritual immaturity of believers, but we should also never be content with it.”Richard Camino
Matthew 28:19-20 is probably one of the most quoted “great commission” verses. After Jesus commands us to go, the first task he gives us is the task of making disciples of all the nations.
Discipleship is one of the most commonly heard words in the church today, yet I fear it is frequently the command that we are least intentional with. If we are truly going to be obedient to the Biblical commands and see our Christian communities grow in healthy ways, then we need to become more diligent in this specific area.
Without truly intentional engagement we will too easily drop the ball on this one. In part, this happens because it comes at a high cost for us personally. Hundreds of books have been published on this topic through Christendom; presenting us detailed, long-winded instructions on how to curate the perfect disciple. Yet still, so many believers are lacking the true spiritual depth that comes from this process. Why is that?
Perhaps we’re overcomplicating it.
The commandment to make disciples will cost you your time, your energy, and probably even your money.
No person is discipled without the heavy investment of time and deep relationship. What hardest for me is realizing that we are to pay this cost even when those we invest in seem not to care. Or maybe even seem ungrateful.
Jesus set the pace and example for this throughout His short life on earth.
Jesus spoke aloud to thousands, yet lived alongside a few. Over his lifetime he ministered to countless numbers of people as he traveled from city to city. However, those he traveled with had a much closer perspective on who He was and how He lived His life. Those are the types of disciples we should be making. The kind we are learning to follow Jesus with every single day.
In his book The Lost Art of Disciple Making, LeRoy Eims speaks to the amount of time true discipleship will require of you. “Likeminded, trustworthy, competent men are not made on a production line like automobiles in an assembly plant. They are carefully and prayerfully developed under the loving guidance of a wise trainer who spends much time on his knees praying for them. In an age of nearly instant everything, we must discipline ourselves to think in terms of quality.”
When we know of a person who has decided to follow Christ, we cannot just hope that a local church pastor will scoop them into their arms, invite them into their home, and begin engaging in discipleship.
If you are a part of that person’s life and have the capacity and understanding with which to begin the process, it is your job to invite them over.
One thing you need to be doing today to start making disciples is to stop assuming somebody else will do it!
Spiritually maturing persons continually point each other towards Jesus. That is how disciples are made. Start doing that today.