Wednesday, January 02, 2019

2019 - The Year of Connection, Discipleship, and Reproduction


A new year has begun. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is: Draw close to Jesus and follow his instructions.

Do not disengage from being a disciple and get "too busy for church." 

Be encouraged. You have enough real Jesus-followers in your community to change your county. What is needed is for you to awaken, come to life, and embody a move of God. Therefore, attach yourself to Jesus, now.

Dallas Willard writes:

"Now, some might be shocked to hear that what the “church”— the disciples gathered— gathered— really needs is not more people, more money, better buildings or programs, more education, or more prestige. Christ’s gathered people, the church, has always been at its best when it had little or none of these. All it needs to fulfill Christ’s purposes on earth is the quality of life he makes real in the life of his disciples." (Willard, The Great Omission(Kindle Locations 159-162). 

"The greatest issue facing the world today, with all its heartbreaking needs, is whether those who, by profession or culture, are identified as “Christians” will become disciples— students, apprentices, practitioners— of Jesus Christ, steadily learning from him how to live the life of the Kingdom of the Heavens into every corner of human existence." (Ib., Kindle Locations 164-167)

"It is a tragic error to think that Jesus was telling us, as he left, to start churches, as that is understood today. From time to time starting a church may be appropriate. But his aim for us is much greater than that." (Ib., Kindle Locations 145-146)

What can this mean? It means: Jesus did not say "Go into all the world and start churches." Right? This is hard, because the American way is bigger, bigger, bigger, more, more, more. Yes, Jesus wants all humanity to be saved. But "saved" includes discipleship and spiritual formation into Christlikeness, without which one has committed The Great Omission.

Here is Willard's translation of Matthew 28:18-20:

“I have been given say over all things in heaven and in the earth. As you go, therefore, make disciples of all kinds of people, submerge them in Trinitarian Presence, and show them how to do everything I have commanded. And now look: I am with you every minute until the job is done.”

You are a disciple of Christ. You are the Church. You are a move of God. Reproduce this in someone else. 

Forget the size of your church and focus on what Jesus commanded. Go after making one disciple, from any people group. This is for you, not just pastors. If everyone who claimed to be a follower of Jesus did this, "the outward effect of this life in Christ [would be a] perpetual moral revolution, until the purpose of humanity on earth is completed." (Ib., Kindle Locations 148-149)