18 “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Matthew 28:18-20 NKJV
We are all called to be disciples and that is something we often think as the responsibility of only those “called into ministry”. But we are all called to make disciples! Jesus says all power has been given to Him and the implication is that power is now in us through His name. Notice the priority Jesus gives to discipleship; it is the first thing He speaks about. We seem to place our emphasis on winning the lost and then totally disregard their discipleship. We can’t just win people to Jesus and then leave them, we have to teach and disciple them. It is how you turn a world upside down as the original disciples did. That kind of sweeping revival of hearts comes from multiplication, not by addition. As we disciple someone we prepare them to win others to the Lord and then they go on to disciple those they reach, and so on. This is a far better return than just the people in ministry winning the lost one by one. You win the lost and then prepare them to reproduce themselves.
We often feel as though we are not ready to win the lost and certainly not equipped to disciple them. However, we cannot just pray for the Lord to save the lost. He has commissioned us to do this. It is our job as His followers. Let the good news of Jesus shine through your life and people will be drawn to Him. Share the good news when the opportunity arises, which it will. Then make disciples of them, teach them the things of Jesus and His Word.
I know you feel like you are not ready to do this. You may feel like you don’t know enough of the Word to teach others, but the truth is you can always teach what you already know. You don’t have to know everything, just teach what you know. When you teach what you know, even if it is just a little, you learn more yourself. I have always found that the best way to understand something is to teach it. When you teach it, it crystallizes the understanding in your own mind. It is amazing. If you want to understand the Word more, make more of an effort to teach it to others.
It is not an option for us as His followers, it is His commandment that we go and make disciples. This is our commission.
J Todd Hostetler