‘Go into all the world and make disciples’ Matthew 28:19-20
Standing looking at the one of the most iconic features of the North Antrim coastline, ‘Barry’s Big Dipper’, I was drawn to how idle it was. No squeals, no clatter of it’s cogs this year. There it stood paused in time. I wondered, will it be recommissioned? Only time will tell.
I just wondered as I stood looking at this sight, could a parallel be drawn to this and the church?
We have built quite an iconic understanding of church: the building we go to, the groups we attend, the courses we take, the daily routine. These are all good things that in many ways have enabled us to interpret an outworking of the gospel message. However, standing looking at the idle ‘Big Dipper’, I asked myself, as the church, have we been paused to be recommissioned?
When Jesus commissioned the disciples, He commissioned them to, ‘Go and make disciples.’ I just wondered, have we been so busy ‘riding the coaster of church’ that we have failed in doing the very thing we were commissioned to do, ‘make disciples’?
Billy Graham is quoted as saying, ‘God is not after our fruitfulness but our faithfulness’. Let’s not misinterpret this, faithfulness brings fruitfulness, but this statement challenged me to think: have we lost our faithfulness in how we do church? Have we built platforms, gatherings, followings, programs, and events, claiming we are making disciples rather than actually making disciples?
The making of disciples the Jesus way is messy, slow, lengthy, and at times a painful process. The reality is you may lose your reputation, be mis-interpreted, mocked and ignored. You may feel left out, sidelined, and you will certainly learn quickly that there are no quick fixes. The kingdom way is one of dying to self daily. You see discipleship rarely happens in big gatherings. Sometimes such events may help start the process or highlight a need, but we need a community of disciple makers around us, asking the hard questions, cheering us on, praying us through.
Just maybe in this moment in 2020, we are being paused to be recommissioned to be the disciple making movement Jesus commissioned us to be. Disciples who obey the scriptures, who repent of sin, who choose to forgive, bravely expose their wounds for healing, and who pray through life with all its twists and turns. Disciples whose lives radiate the light of Jesus, in the darkness that surrounds them. Disciples who are faithful in the everyday moments, and in their faithfulness produce a fruitfulness that comes only through walking daily in the Spirit, allowing God to renew their minds daily in Christ. Disciples who daily see others come to Jesus, because they walk in the ways of Jesus: healing the sick, casting out demons and declaring the coming of the Lord. Disciples who are daily, going into all the world and making disciples.
Are we being recommissioned? Will we obey? Only time will tell.