Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Evangelism…really?


If everything is central than nothing is central.”-John Strifler

I was in class last night and a comment made in conversation jumped out and smacked me. The above quote is from my professor John Strifler. We were in the middle of discussing the Great Commission Christ gave to the disciples in Matthew 28 before He ascended. Basically the religion of Christianity gets so caught up on things like baptism, services, small groups, out reach programs, community service programs, etc. that we forget the central focus of it all. So if baptism or community service or any other Christian project or plan becomes central to our focus then they become irrelevant and not effective. The central theme and most important thing Jesus told the disciples before He ascended was, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples… (Matthew 18-19)” Basically because all authority had been given to Him, He wants us to go make disciples. When we are making disciples we will go to all nations, we will baptize them into the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and we will teach them to obey all He has taught us. Without going to make disciples going to nations, baptism, and teaching would be useless. The original disciples knew what Jesus was talking about when He said to go make disciples. They were His disciples. Naturally they would go out and do what their Rabbi did with and for them. If you read the Gospels and just study the relationships Jesus built with these disciples you can see that in no way did Jesus make things quick and easy, He didn’t disciple as a side note, He was a discipline making machine! So as the disciples remember how much time and effort Jesus took to pour Himself into them, even when they were acting the fool, they followed this same pattern of making disciples.

How long did Jesus chase you down through life events or how much time did some body or many people pour into you before you came to trust Jesus? I am not saying that tracts are bad, televangelists are bad (though most are a little loopy), street preachers are bad, or any other Christian quick convert makers are bad. I am simply saying they are all products of our lack of focus to make disciples. So may you focus on making disciples first based on the authority given to Jesus. He said Himself He will always be with you, take the time to slow down and invest in somebody. I pray you will impact as many people that the Spirit opens a relationship and opportunity up to.

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