We’ve heard the “Great Commission” enough times already. We know it. We get it. But we don’t do it. Why? Perhaps because the first thing we think of when we hear the words, “Go and make disciples…” is the impression that “going” means knocking on doors. Delete that image. That is not what we mean.
Instead here are some other ideas that are much more Biblical ways to “going.” But it isn’t going to happen hiding in the church office or sitting in your home. It involves really engaging people eyeball to eyeball in daily life.
- Go and make friends! Who is your neighbor? Who is your co-worker? Who is your hair cutter/stylist? Who is the barista at the coffee shop? Who is the bank teller? Who do you run into semi regularly? Do you know their name? What do you know about them? Or are these people merely functionaries to make your life easier? I pray not! Go. Make Friends. Be interested in them. Ask. Listen. Start today. Start now. Green light. Stop looking at your phone and GO!
- Go and be salt and light! It is startling how people often treat one another in this world. Christians are different. They bring God and His grace wherever they go. They listen. They are considerate. They have good manners. They treat people, as they would like to be treated (Luke 6:31). They make the day tolerable for those who can barely get through the day – even and especially to the grumpy, the belligerent, the irritable and worse. People unfortunately see Christians as kooks. If they don’t see you as genuinely different then there is a problem. Go. Be different! Be the authentic love the world is hungry for!
- Go and care! Once you make friends and begin a relationship then chances are you are going to hear things about their life that are very important to them. Do they know that you care about them (because “they will know we are Christians by our love”) because we love those whom Christ loves (the “whole world” Jn 3:16)? Listen. Get curious. Ask how you can help. Offer to pray. Do it with them in their presence. Keep it a simple prayer. Caring doesn’t have to be about money. Perhaps it is a recommendation to your trusted mechanic, lawyer, pastor, or your Savior. Go. Care in authentic ways. Go!
- Go with someone! Jesus sent them out two by two in Mark 6. Paul travelled with others all the time. With a partner there is an opportunity for mentoring, encouragement, discipling of another and lots of time to debrief driving to and from. Find someone who can encourage you for some of the “going” and also find another someone you can encourage for other “going” opportunities.
- Go and watch God work through you! With every step. With every interaction there is an opportunity for God to work! You are an ambassador of God bringing His Word as you make friends, be salt and light, care, and so on. It is not about making church members. It is on the other hand about authentically being who you are as a baptized child of God who is in the world but not of it (John 17:16) and not conformed to the pattern of this world (Rom 12:2). Go! Be used by God and be amazed!
The early church didn’t grow because of special worship styles or other things to attract people or manipulate them away from the shrine or temple to their church. The church grew as it was being the church in the world. It grew as Christians, who knew who they were as forgiven sinners and loved by God in grace, lived in that grace! How could they not be different when compared to those who didn’t have that grace from God!? Put down your phone. The light is green. Go! Make disciples!
Scott Gress is called by Lutheran Counseling Services and partners with the FL-GA District of the Lutheran Church as an independent contractor. He specializes in Leadership Training, Consulting, Coaching and Coach Training. Contact Scott to continue the conversation or experience a free sample coaching session. 561-542-4472, firstname.lastname@example.org or scottgress.com
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