BY STEVE DUNN
Part 4 of a Series
Currently I am working on an 8-week class called Designed to Disciple. My premise is that we are called to make disciples which means as disciples we must be more than followers of Christ. Each disciple is called to be a disciple-maker.
This is a great challenge to the contemporary American church. The late Dallas Willard once posed a penetrating question: “Does the gospel we preach have a natural tendency to produce disciples or just consumers of religious goods and services? … What you present as gospel will determine what you present as discipleship.”
We have so long focused on disciple-making as getting people to make decisions ask God to forgive us of our sins, to re-establish a right relationship with Him once again. But the reality is that once we have punched our ticket to heaven, we think the process is over. We forget that the call to salvation is also a call to serving. “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” – (Ephesians 2.10) It is part of our original spiritual DNA corrupted by the Fall but embedded anew when we become New Creations.
Having been forgiven our sin and reconciled to God, we have been given a vital assignment by our Savior and Lord. “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, 20 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 28.19-20
Too often discipleship in local churches is relegated to programs that emphasize learning information about discipleship. This we do in a classroom in eight or 16 weeks or by listening to a sermon series. It does not understand that discipleship is about disciple-making which grows from lifestyle and relationship.
And none of this really requires the transformation of a believer into a person whose calling and passion is to disciple new people. Consumers of religious goods and services are all about themselves. Disciples are all about others.
Yes, we all want to get to heaven but God will be looking for and judging us by who comes with us.
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