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Sunday, January 17, 2016

Intentional Disciple

All Christians are confronted with the command of Jesus found in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) that says, “Go and make disciples of all nations.”, Have you thought through this verse? There are three questions presented whose answers provide the framework for the task to which Jesus has called us to. The questions are:

1. What is a disciple?  Jesus calls us to “make” them. So, we must first understand what their characteristics are. A simple definition is found in Pastor Rick Warren’s book, “The Purpose Driven Life.” A life of discipleship is understood in terms of living out the five purposes.

 A disciple is one who:

• Is pleasing God every day, this is true Worship. They realize that they are planned for God’s pleasure.
• Is an active member of a local body of believers, which is Fellowship. They understand that they are formed for a family.
• Is learning to be more Christ-like in their behavior every day, which is Discipleship. They realize they are created to become like Christ.
• Is serving sacrificially within the local body of believers, which is Ministry. They know how they have been shaped for service and live it out continually.
• Is sharing God’s love, forgiveness and hope with people who do not know Christ, which is Mission. They declare openly and confidently, “I was made for a mission.”

2. How does one make disciples?
If we use the purpose definition of a disciple, then it follows that we must be about inserting these purposes into our lives, and of the people whom God has entrusted us to us. This is the work of the church. We must set up an environment that leads people along a developmental path such that these purposes become fully integrated into their lives. We preach the purposes from the pulpit, teach them in small groups, we model them in our lives, we provide opportunities for our people to live them out individually and in fellowship with others, and we expect them to mature and envision and equip others to this same life of obedience. This is how we become a Purpose Driven people and church.

How does living like a Christ Follower look like? What steps do you need to take?

3. How are disciples sent to all nations? The third question infers that the “go” requires the church to “send.” It is our task to be strategic and intentional about infusing the five purposes into the lives of our people so they can truly be disciples. For the purpose of mission, and if we are to be obedient to Jesus, we must strategically and intentionally send people into the world, locally and globally, to carry the Good News to a hurting world. The best way to do mission is to do church, and the best way to do church is to do mission.

Insanity has been defined as, doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. I heard a different slant recently, Doing the same old things and expecting a different outcome.

Is the church guilty of insanity? - Doing the same old things and expecting a different outcome. How can we change that rut or routine and become a true Christ follower?

If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got! Amen or Oh-Me?