The final command that Jesus gave His disciples as He returned to the Father was, and remains, crucial to the salvation of the world: “…make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them…and teaching them to observe (practice) all things I’ve commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB). It is important that we recognize in this passage that this word was not merely a suggestion—it was His command! He expressed it to them, not only with great urgency, but with great clarity and simplicity as well. Without question, disciple-making to Jesus is an extremely vital process in God’s eternal plan to redeem a lost world back to Himself.
Corporately, every local church is a “living body of Christ” and therefore vital to God’s eternal purpose. God purposed that His churches take His good news to the world and make disciples. And it is through disciple-making that God equips believers to be on mission with Him. His desire is always to fashion each and every church according to His specific purposes. So, it is imperative in these critical days that local churches make discipleship a major focus in how they function. And, it should be a major focus among seminaries where the future leaders of our churches are being prepared to serve.
We should also recognize that since Christ promised He is with us always, He remains with us all the time, 24/7. Our lives, our homes, our churches, and our workplaces are all “holy ground” where He can draw people to Himself. Everyone touching our lives should be encountering Christ, too! With Christ living in us, we are accountable to make disciples wherever He leads us out in the marketplace. We can make disciples one-on-one with family members, neighbors, or co-workers. We can lead small group studies in our homes, at work, or on campus. Anywhere, anytime, we should avail ourselves to God for disciple-making.
We have been commanded to “go, and as you are going…make disciples…and teach them.” My prayer is that we will all answer His call, regardless of where He places us each day, and simply obey Him.
1. Where has God currently sent you? Spend some time praying for Him to reveal His heart for the people He has sovereignly placed in your path.
2. What are some of the needs of these people? Ask the Lord to reveal their deeper needs. Use this as a prayer outline.
3. Are there any needs that you can meet?
4. Pay attention to those who are “hungry of heart”, those whom the Lord seems to be awakening. Consider using “A Discipleship Journey” with them as a proven, biblically sound resource for Making Disciple-Makers. You can find it here: http://www.lionshare.org/lionshare-products/a-discipleship-journey-manual
[Dr. Henry Blackaby has served as a leader within the Baptist church for many years and is broadly known for his work, “Experiencing God”, which as now been translated into multiple languages. He currently is discipling several hundred CEOs throughout America in the ways of God.]