"Ignite people's passions and get out of the way."
In this first chapter of 'Growing True Disciples', George Barna gets to the point and hits it with a sledge hammer. His point without quoting him at length is that we need to redefine success in ministry to focus on those who have already ask Jesus to be their Savior, "and do everything we can to help them grow into inspired, unmistakable disciples of Jesus?" (pg 2)
He then goes on to ask; "What would happen if we did not consider our jobs complete when," they accepted Jesus, "but would use their new commitments to Christ as a launching pad for a life long quest to become individuals who are completely sold out-emotionally, intellectually, physically, spiritually-to the Son of God?"
I have to admit he is singing the song of my heart. Throughout the Bible and Church history this was the description of the sold out radical believer who would shake the earth for God. Who would cause a stir as Paul did in Ephesus when the Ephesian temple icon salesman panicked and started a riot because Paul's was turning people to Jesus and away from their god. Hebrews chapter 11 is full of their stories.
I believe it was D.L. Moody who said that if he could have one man who was completely sold out to God that man would turn the world upside down for Jesus.
Barna goes on to quote Matt 28:18-20
Then Jesus came to them and said, "All
authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 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."
Barna here goes on to ask a few questions which could be summed up in the next few sentences. If this was so important to Jesus why is it not so important to us?
When is the last time we had as the desire of our hearts, the thoughts of our minds and the passion of our hearts a day in and day out focus on making His command a part of all we do each day?
Here are some ideas.
Maybe we could day dream about ways to fulfill this command or when a meeting got boring scribble notes about ways to fulfill it. Perhaps we should be having dreams in the night and brainstorming sessions at startbucks or even a Trivial pursuit game that focused on fulfilling it. What if our dinner conversations with friends and family were about how to make disciples. Then what if we were actually telling each other about our success in fulfilling the Great Commission?
When you do a personal time management analysis, what we spend our time energy and resources on proves to be are major priority.
Before we go on in our study why not think about what we have covered so far and ask God if you need to have a revolution in your world to bring yourself in line with this command and priority of Jesus!
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You've got to the very core of Christianity with this article. For a Christian revolution to happen there has to be abandonment of denominational tradition, obedience by churches to Mark 16:15, and above all a heart for God as shown by Jesus' disciples and apostles of the Early Church. Bring it on!