Jesus said, “Go and make disciples…” Here we have the last words of Jesus summarizing as succinctly as possible what it means to be the church. Let me remind you – there are a number of statements Jesus did not make, like “Go and develop creative programs,” or “Go and be comfortable,” or “Go and develop your own little culture.” No, Jesus told us to make disciples – the daring adventure of helping people become whole-hearted followers of Jesus Christ. Certainly this will take a strategy of programs brimming with creativity. This commission often means that facilities and tools will be needed to accomplish the task. However, the bottom line is changed lives.
At Edinbrook Church, we need to be sure we are still about helping people find the real Jesus.
What a great reminder, especially when pure and undefiled Christianity unsuspectingly becomes diluted to a mere shadow of Jesus’ design. At Edinbrook Church, we need to be sure we are still about helping people find the real Jesus. We are not about buildings (even though we need them) or programs (even though they are a vital means to our mission) or niceties (the false assumption that Christianity should make life nice). We are about mission – the daring task of treading into unknown territory for the cause of Christ! That unknown territory may be that trying co-worker, mysterious neighbor, or long-time friend. It’s becoming the presence of Christ to these people for the sake of making disciples!
A quick word about evangelism: You rarely need to force Christianity on someone. Your task is to make people thirsty. If people become genuinely thirsty, they will drink. Of course, you must have the living water ready for their consumption, but enough of this pressure-type evangelism. It has done a great disservice to the kingdom of God. Listen to one atheist’s words about Christians:
|“…as soon as people find out I don’t believe in God, they tell me I am going to hell. One woman said, ‘You cannot possibly have good morals if you don’t believe.’ This is nonsense. I know plenty of ‘God-fearing church-going folk’ who have rotten moral standards. They drink, smoke, do drugs, lie, steal and cheat on their spouses. How can I get these well-meaning people off my back?” from Ann Landers, Star/Tribune, 2-22-02|
I assure you, this is only one of thousands who will never submit to Christ, partially because well-meaning Christians forgot how appealing, gentle, and understanding Jesus was when He offered the “water of life.”
Now, let’s go back to Jesus’ Great Commission. We are to make disciples “of all nations.” This is a big job without limits. It has a way of nixing the old statement, “numbers aren’t important.” Let me tell you the truth: I hope Edinbrook Church grows bigger than any of us expect! Not for fame, fortune, ego, or recognition, but for the thousands of people in our community (and around the world) who need a dynamic encounter with the living Christ. We have something to offer! We need to figure out how to help as many people as possible.