The Great Commission is where we get our marching orders for making disciples. It very clearly says that we are to go and make disciples of all the nations . . . teaching them to obey all that Christ has commanded. I would like to focus on the teaching them to obey aspect of the task today.
We (pastors) often bemoan the fact that so many in the church do not share the gospel with the people they know. We get so tired when the church members act as though the pastor (or other church staff) is the only one who has the ability to share the gospel. Many times, the church members are right. How are they going to know how to share their faith if they have never been taught to do it. Furthermore, how are the church members going to study the Bible if they haven’t been taught how. We (pastors) have an obligation to teach our church membership how to be Christ-followers. In other words, pastors must teach the body to do “the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.” Eph. 4:12-13
There are many ways of accomplishing the task. The effective church will utilize a variety of approaches. More and more, the lecturing and working through a workbook approach is diminishing in its effectiveness. However, the modeling and mentoring approach remains highly effective.
In future blog posts, we will examine tools for discipling new believers. I will begin with sharing from my personal journey. I became a Christ-follower at the young age of 7. My church did not have a New Believer’s Class for kids, so I joined the adults (about 5 of us altogether). We worked through Ralph Neighbor’s text, Survival Kit for New Christians. It was very basic, but just what I needed at the time. The foundation was established, and I grew in my Christian walk over the years.
What do you use in your church? What have you found to work well?