Evangelism: Its Role in Discipleship

babyContinued from here.

One misconception about the Great Commission is that it’s about “catching fish” = adding another notch for the number of people you have converted to Christianity. However, that’s not what the Great Commission says:

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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” ~ Matt. 28:19-20

It actually tells us to go and make disciples, not make newbie Christians. Think about how much time Jesus invested in each of his disciples to grow them into men who would change the world. While there is a place for the Billy Grahams of the world who invite thousands of people to say the sinner’s prayer, my job is to invest in the lives of people around me and lead them to a closer walk with God. For some, that’s whetting their appetite for a relationship with God at all. For others, it’s leading them into a deeper walk with God so they fall in love with Him and transform into the image of Christ. Someone saying the sinner’s prayer is only the starting point. They are merely spiritual infants at that point who need lots of nurturing to grow into spiritual adults.

We are the Body of Christ, and it’s our job to invest in one another. As a Body, we need to show the world that there is a God who loves them, not through Bible thumping but through invitation and example. And then as those people are drawn to God, we need to love and support them through their transformation, teaching them the ways of Christ and modeling by example what a close walk with God looks like. That’s how Jesus discipled others, and that’s how we need to do it as well – not looking to “save” as many people as possible but to connect with, invest in, and love them enough to provide an open invitation to join the Body of Christ when they are ready.

[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace drinking out of a large baby’s bottle. Courtesy Bitmoji.]