If you have been with us for a while, you know we’ve been working through a study on the concepts of “Embracing Exile.” In his book by the same title, Dr. Daniels writes, “so the mission of the church in exile is not just to have a message but also to become the message.” Too often, I believe the church has focused so much on evangelizing people that we forget that it is not enough to evangelize as we are also called to make disciples. I’ve been wrestling with this over the last few weeks. In my MAPL program at Olivet, we have also discussed this idea that evangelism and discipleship must carry equal weight in our ministries. Certainly we can not create Christ-like disciples if we don’t evangelize them, but it is also not enough to just evangelize. We need to have a plan to disciple each person that is reached – whether by us personally or someone else in the community of faith.
Jesus’s command was pretty clear at the end of his time on earth. “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20). We are called to make disciples who make disciples.
Let’s consider a question together. What are we doing to not only try to evangelize people, but also to disciple them? Are you yourself being discipled?
~ Pastor Todd