"And Jesus appointed twelve, that they might be with him." Mark 3:14
The problem in this world is not the economy. If so, God would have sent us an economist. The problem of the world is not education. If so, God would have sent an educator. The problem of this world is called sin, so God sent us a Savior. God's plan to change the world is: "Make Disciples". The message of our Lord Jesus Christ to his disciples after his resurrection, and before He ascended to heaven was: "Therefore go and make disciples." (Matthew 28:19)
I have found in some Hispanic churches today, leaders are involved in so many things, except in that, which is not only the most important ministry in the life of the Church, but it’s the plan that our Lord Jesus Christ gave the Church to change a world that lives in darkness – discipleship. Christianity without discipleship is a hollow Christianity and that is the picture of the church of the 21st century. Rightly, the church is not having an impact in its community and around the world, and therefore, it is not multiplying itself.
The world has understood the secret of the multiplication and has practiced it in an effective way. Think about this. God's plan for the church, "make disciples", everyone has gotten it except the church. There are groups that grow and spread around the world by "making disciples". But these are groups that have as their goal to bring harm and destruction to the lives of people. And the Church, which has been given the power (Matthew 28:19-20) to change lives and transform families in the world, has been paralyzed. The reality is that the church does not grow because members have not learned to live as disciples.
What is discipleship? It’s a disciple helping other disciples to be conformed to the image of his Master (Luke 9:24-25). Discipleship is not a program, or an event, it is a way of life. Let's look at some essential elements to make disciples:
- The formation of the disciple. Teach the disciple to obey, not only to learn. "Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you." (Matthew 28:20)
- The formation of character.
- Accountability of what he is learning and living.
- Being with the disciple. "And he ordained twelve, that they might be with him and that he might send them to preach." (Mark 3:14) The only way of making disciples is by being with them.
- Invest in the life of the disciple. It takes time, resources. But above all, a love for the person.
- It’s to multiply/replicate yourself in the lives of other people. "The things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses (Paul to Timothy), commit these to faithful men, who shall be able (Timothy to other men) to teach others (men to other men) also.” (2 Timothy 2:2)
To be a disciple is to be called to make disciples. "And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brothers, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. Then He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men". (Matthew 4.18-19)
In the film "Son of God" Jesus snuggles to Peter and says to him: "Come, follow me and I will make you fishers of men." Peter responds by saying: "What are we going to do?" And Jesus turns his face looking toward the city, and beyond he says: "We are going to change the world."
Church, are you ready to change the world one person at a time?" It is not a great suggestion. It is the great mandate. "For the love of Christ compels us." (2 Corinthians 5:14)