In last month’s newsletter article we saw how the ultimate goal of the local church is to glorify God, and the chief way a local church is to glorify God is by making disciples of Jesus Christ. This month we are going to go a step further. It is easy to talk about the mission of the church in the abstract without ever getting practical and thinking in terms of our mission or my mission. Therefore, we need to explore not only disciple making as a church, but disciple making as individuals.
The church is a community made up of individual members. It can only be said that a church is working to make disciples if the individual members of the church are seeking to make disciples, together. It is possible to be faithful to attend Sunday meetings and midweek Bible study without really following Jesus and his call to discipleship. We need to regularly ask ourselves: How am I making disciples of Jesus Christ? How am I nurturing a passion for Christ in my own heart and seeking to spread that passion to those around me?
As Christians, this is what our lives are about. Whether we are employed full time in the business world or we are a full time homemaker, mother or grandmother; whether we are in grade school or retired; whether we are single or married, the central work of our lives is making disciples.
You may manage the corner grocery store full time as a platform for disciple making and as a way to financially support your disciple making mission, but the main work of your life is not managing a grocery store full time. You may be busy at home everyday making sure your two year old boy is emotionally, physically and psychologically nourished, but this is still not the main work of your life. The main work of your life is making disciples of Jesus Christ.
Yes, to be a worthy disciple making witness to Christ as a grocery store manager you need to make sure the store is managed well. And yes, your disciple making mission certainly includes your two-year-old son. In order to be a witness to the beauty of Christ to your two-year-old son you need to sacrificially give yourself to meeting all the needs of a healthy two-year-old boy.
But, what I am calling for is a complete paradigm shift — a total change in mindset about our lives. You can be a faithful grocery store manager in the eyes of your employees and not be a disciple-making follower of Jesus. You can be a good mom in the eyes of the world without the aim of making disciples of Jesus Christ.
So, the next time you are at a social gathering and that question comes, “What do you do for work?” What if your response was, “By God’s grace I make disciples of Jesus Christ as a husband, father and grocery store manager.” Or, “I’ve been given the privilege of full time employment making disciples of Jesus Christ as a busy mom and friend of others in the neighborhood.” Or, “I am an ambassador for Jesus Christ at the elder care facility I live at, looking for opportunities to remind others of the glory of Christ in the gospel.”
If we did answer that question this way, would it be honest? What changes do we have to make in our lives in order for each of us to honestly say that disciple making is the main business of our lives?