Can the church make disciples like we make signs?
The precept Jesus shares with His church in Matthew 28:19 and 20 keeps me up at night. I love the Book of Acts. I love how Jesus pumps the brakes and says, “Hey, Church. I did it for three years. I showed you how to do it. Now you do it.” What the Rabbi (Jesus) does in Acts 1:8 is He gives us the job of going and making disciples.
Sometimes the Blonde will say of a church that has a lot of people in their Sunday morning worship service, “If they were making disciples, if those churches were raising up an army of missional type Christ-followers that were going and doing (Matthew 28:19 & 20, Acts 1:8), where are they? Wouldn't we see them? Why don’t we hear about them?” Then her voice will kind of trail off and she will say, “I’m not sure any church is really doing what Jesus has asked them (us) to do.” By the way, we can think critically without being critical.
On Twitter last week I saw a post, “In Antioch the disciples were first called Christians by who? Non Christians - why? Because they talked about Jesus Christ all the time. What would non Christians call us today because it’s all we talked about?” I can’t answer this question, but it’s a good question.
We do so many things as the church. We spend time making signs that say, “Only authorized personnel can adjust thermostats.” Or one of my favorites is, “No skateboarding in the parking lot.” My prayer is that the church would make disciples the way we make signs. Jesus never said make signs and be hyper concerned about who touches the thermostat or who uses the parking lot, but He did say, “Go and make disciples.”
Jennifer and I went to the big city the other day, and we had coffee in a fancy place. I got online and read about their history, and part of their vision is, “to create a distinctive, out of this world, experience that people drive across town for.” They want people to hang out, drink their coffee and then they want that “experience to be shared” with their friends. Oh man, that’s what our church and our Jesus experience should be like! And that excitement should be contagious.
I like the song "My Jesus" by Anne Wilson. Part of it goes like this, “He makes a way where there ain’t no way. He rises up from an empty grave, ain’t no sinner He can’t save. Let me tell you ‘bout my Jesus. His love is strong and His grace is free. And the good news is I know that He can do for you what He’s done for me. Let me tell you ‘bout my Jesus.”
When do we do that? When do we start to tell others about the One who gave His life for us on the cross (Good News), because that’s what I want to do. Not more and not less. Can we talk? What’s living on mission look like for you? He asked me to ask you that.