Post date: Sep 2, 2012 4:55:13 PM
From the Shepherd's Heart
The last few months we have been talking about discipleship and this month we are going to look deeper into a portion of the Great Commission. Matthew 28:19 "Turn men into disciples."
Growth is good, but discipleship is the key to lasting growth. We live in a church culture today where we "steal" sheep. Meaning that church members are talked to and encouraged to go to another church and often because they are unhappy about some issue within their own church, they change membership. This is not lasting growth. Real church growth is the bringing in of the lost, who then become saved, are discipled and as a result bring in more lost, and the cycle continues.
Herbert Hodges gives what I think is the greatest definition of discipleship, to paraphrase: "It is taking someone and turning them into a lifelong follower of Jesus Christ where they in turn repeat the process finding someone else and making them a lifelong follower of Jesus Christ." Cain asked God once, "Am I my brother's keeper?" The answer was yes. So, church, if we are our brother's keeper then how are we doing?
As a church, we sometimes over-complicate our calling or purpose. This is our calling: Acts 1:1 "In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all Jesus began to do and to teach." Our purpose is simple, we are to do as Christ did, teach as Christ did.
In the book of Revelation, God wrote seven different letters to seven different churches. There is only one church of the seven that did not receive a rebuke from the Lord. Revelation 3:8, "I know your deeds. Because you are of little strength, have kept my Word, and not denied my name, I have placed before you an open door that no one can close." We want the Lord to be able to say this about us, about this church. We must be about doing what Jesus did and teaching what He taught.