In our last entry, we affirmed that making disciples is the primary work of the Church. We simply aren’t getting the job done if we aren’t guiding those who accept Christ’s free gift toward the much deeper commitment to give up their own life and follow Him. Making disciples is job one!
So how will we teach them to follow Jesus? The first part of an answer must address the content of our teaching. What are the most important elements of becoming and living as a disciple? Today, many groups are studying the whole idea of a disciple, trying to decide what a disciple looks like so they can develop tools for making such things happen. This is a worthwhile effort to be sure, but being a disciple is so much more than matching behaviors to the Scriptural list.
What would be on a list you’d construct of things we must teach other Christ followers? Would you start with the fruit of the Spirit or work through an expository approach to the entire New Testament? What are the critical first steps and how can you adequately prepare people for what they might encounter in the next few days? After all, life doesn’t unfold in a systematic way. Needed lessons come in a different order for every individual.
It’s been said that making disciples is the hardest work of the Church and there are good reasons for such an observation. Jesus seemed to make things simple, however, when He handed the assignment to His largely uneducated followers. In the Great Commission, Jesus said “Baptize them and teach them those things which I have commanded you.” Sounds simple enough–baptize them as a demonstration of their faith choice and teach what you have been taught.
Wouldn’t the things Jesus has specifically taught you seem to be the most important truths you could reveal? Discipleship cannot be done on an assembly line. True disciples won’t be mass produced, at least not in any depth. Instead, we can learn from each other as we engage conversation around the truths we’ve been learning.
Remember that Jesus taught His guys on a daily basis–as life unfolded before them. He let each moment provide the teaching opportunity. Why? Because He knew He was teaching a life, not a series of lessons.
So if your “curriculum” started with what God has been teaching you, what would that be? Sure, there’s more to consider because God has been teaching a lot of others too. We’ll look at some of that content next time, but spend some time reflecting on the lessons God has brought clearly into your focus. It seems likely that those are things He wants you to share.
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