Therefore go and make disciples…Matthew 28:19
As we all steer through the challenges of the last 18 months, it is clear that most of us have had to make significant assessments and adjustments in schedules and methods of ministry. I can report that the pastors of the OMN have been examples of flexibility without giving into failure or fear.
One area however, that I encourage every pastor to revisit and reset is their efforts in discipleship. As you know, discipleship is a substantial part of the Great Commission and is to be a compelling force of all of us in ministry. When a person receives Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, a wonderful process begins of growth and maturity. We as ministers are to be about this process.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer in his classic, The Cost of Discipleship, states, “Discipleship is not an offer that man makes to Christ.” Actually, discipleship is Christ’s invitation to us to become like Him. Our mission is to assist followers of Christ to become fully devoted and firmly planted.
Sometime back I had an intriguing conversation with a young millennial (a 20 something) who wanted to talk about discipleship. He expressed concern about the lack of a system in his own church for helping people grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus. He indicated that it appeared that the church he attended was more about fellowship than discipleship. He said, “Don’t get me wrong, Pastor Bill, I think fellowship is important! But I worry that people are not growing in their faith.” We talked through some of his expressed angst and discussed some ways he might help positively transform the culture of the church.
My millennial friend is on to something. Regrettably, many churches seem to have unintentionally failed to develop or maintain an effective discipleship plan. Because this is a desire of us all, I would encourage us all to pause and reconsider ways we can provide a better discipleship plan in our local churches here in Oregon.
This is a perfect time to develop a new plan and to set into motion a pathway for growth and maturity.
Step 1: Develop a New Plan
Step 2: Engage the Plan
Step 3: Make Discipleship Again a Major Component of Your Mission
Resource: The Bible Engagement Project from Assemblies of God USA provides a host of guides and materials that can assist you in increasing your efforts to make disciples. Check it out.
But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.2 Peter 3:18