Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Easy and Hard Parts of Making Disciples

In my last post, I began a discussion on what discipleship is all about.  For many Christians, making disciples is the role of the pastor or someone else...anyone else!  As we learned in the last post, Jesus' last words to His followers were to imitate His way of living by making disciples just as He did (Matthew 28:19-20).  I promised to comment on how making disciples is both easy and hard so here we go :-)

Making Disciples is Easy
The simplest way to explain what it means to make disciples is to be with people, pointing them to Jesus and living in a way is consistent with that direction.  It really is that easy but once you choose that way of living, it will become hard.

Making Disciples is Hard
I do believe that making disciples is as easy as walking with others in the same direction towards Jesus...for a long time and often for a lifetime.  That is the hard part for most people, the long haul mentality and just how messy that can be.  This type of discipleship requires a focus on others, not upon our selves.  This type of discipleship requires a deeper interaction and a commitment to engage others through good and bad times.  This type of 'walking together' towards Jesus demands transparency, authenticity, tolerance, humility, patience, prayer and a deep focus on love.  The Apostle Paul said it this way, "Be imitators of me as I also am of Christ." (1 Cor. 11:1).   Christ layed down His life for us and Paul was imitating that sort of living style - self-sacrifice.  That is were the real hard aspect of pointing people to Jesus is found, in the choosing to sacrifice our own profit, desires and even needs for the benefit of others.  Discipling others requires the uncommon quality of unconditional love and a focus of living out the truths of Christ in community.  This will cause for exposure, risk and pain.  It is a high price but it is the price Jesus calls us to live.  The rewards will be worth it, Jesus makes that promise.

Certainly in the midst of living life together there will be time to study the Bible, doctrines and truths from the Scriptures that are necessary for our souls.  Questions will arise, answers will be investigated and stronger footing will be found.  I think some of the best description of making disciples and sound doctrine (Titus 2:1) is found in Titus 1:16-3:11.  Take a look at this section of Scripture regarding the making of disciples and sound doctrine and see what God has to say to you.  Share your thoughts below if you'd like.  Next time, I'll give you a few of my thoughts on this passage.