For our mission trip we are serving with Mission Arlington, a super cool organization in, you guessed it, Arlington, TX. As part of our daily schedule, the mission has all the groups serving this week gather together for a morning devotional. This morning Matt, a long time staffer with the mission, shared his views on the great commission and why/how Mission Arlington got its start.
What he said pretty much boiled down to this: American Christians have become really good at inviting people to come and be disciples and have become pretty bad at going and making disciples. To be fair, this is a sweeping generalization, so it is bound to not be 100% correct…but what percentage are we OK with?
If 10% of Christians in America are going and making disciples, is that good enough? What about 30% or 50%?
The reason Mission Arlington, and many other similarly minded organizations began, was because they realized they needed to take action, they had to go and make disciples.
At this point I need to be honest, when Matt shared this story and his viewpoints, I viewed it as a Jesus Juke. ’well Jesus said this, so we do it.’ I know he didn’t mean it that way, but I took it that way…at first. Then once I got over my wounded pride I realized he had a point. It may seem like an argument based on semantics, but there is a difference between going and inviting. James made a similar argument when he said do not be hearers of the word only, but doers also.
The Christian faith has action innately built into it. The world was changed by the small group of people Jesus sent out, not to invite, but to make disciples. What would it look like if we sent out 12, one hundred, one thousand, ten thousand, one hundred thousand, or even one million people bent on making disciples?
As someone who does his fair share of inviting, or casual hinting, I admit that going and making disciples can be a stretch. But isn’t that what God does to us all the time? Stretch us, mold us, change us, grow us, mature us?
Going and making disciples doesn’t mean you have to go evangelize in the deepest jungles of the Amazon, but it does mean you should figure out what making disciples looks like in your current context.
How can you begin to ‘go and make’ instead of ‘invite to become’?