Making Disciples

10 01 2012

“Go therefore and make disciples….” -Jesus

The whole church thing has gotten a little foggy… even for me, a pastor. I remember the day I walked into the fog too. It was a mistake that, ten years later, our church is still suffering the effects of.

I was meeting with a group of couples who wanted to get a new Church started. I had met with them a few weeks before, had shared the vision for a new church and had invited them to pray about their possible involvement. Now, those who were on board were meeting together to start putting a plan together to get it started. And that’s when it happened.

“How long until we could hold public services?” one person asked.

Enter the fog.

From that moment on, our team, including me, became consumed with the idea that being a Church meant “having a church service”. We couldn’t have been more wrong.

And the worst part was, we succeeded at it. We kicked off a service that was focused on having great music, engaging atmosphere, and relevant messages. It wasn’t long before our little group of 6 couples had grown to a group of 200 attendees and we had to add another service. We’d look at the numbers, smile, and think about how awesome it was to be a growing, and healthy church.

During our services, we often had people make responses to God. Hundreds of people over the past 10 years have committed their lives to Christ. I would celebrate every response, cheering the fact that we had been so effective in reaching those who were far from God. But after those services, as I would think about and pray for those who had just engaged God, the haunting reality of the fog would nag at my heart.

“What’s next for them?”

“Where do they go from here?”

“What do we have in place to help them grow in this new found faith?”

My only answer… “Well, we do have some great services they could attend.”

Guys, I am not suggesting that our Weekend Services are not important in the process of helping people become fully devoted followers of Christ, but I am also painfully aware of the reality that coming to a Weekend Church Service does not make a person a Disciple. As a church, we have invited people into a weekend gathering, rather than a vibrant and dynamic relationship with Jesus. We have made some big mistakes as a church, but this might have been our biggest.

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…”  Matthew 28:19

The Fog of doing Church like this is that we are blinded to the reality of our purpose. God did not call us to have great Weekend Services… He called us to make disciples. Weekend Services might be a fantastic tool that we use in that process, but it can never be our end goal. We can only fulfill the Great Commission through doing one thing. Intentionally Making Disciples.

Now, in our tenth year of ministry, I finally feel as if the fog is lifting. We are learning to be intentional in helping people become fully devoted followers of Christ. We know what biblical disciple looks like, and we are implementing strategies to help people take steps toward it. We have a long way to go, but we are finally starting to put the pieces together. It is not just about having great services on a weekend, it is about fulfilling our calling. It is about Making Disciples!

Let’s do it!



One response

11 01 2012
Curt Graves

As a member of this body I am pleased to see our focus sharpened in this area as I too have allowed myself to neglect this most essential responsibility of being ever mindful of the opportunities to exercise the ‘one another’ scriptures.

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