Go and Make Disciples

Partly because I’m thinking about how to re-invigorate the missions ministry at my church and partly because I’m thinking about starting a new business and helping some existing businesses, I’ve been meditating on what we call The Great Commission. This was Jesus’ last instruction to his followers, “Go into all the world and make disciples….”

He used action verbs–go and make. The assumption was that he was talking to people who were themselves disciples. Jesus left no easy way out. He didn’t talk about “believing in my heart” and then doing nothing to change the world. He said to go and to make.

I have been thinking about a few characteristics that are applicable to our life as followers of Jesus and to our life in the marketplace, as well.

  • Intentional–we are not to leave this to fate or chance. We choose people and/or ask God to bring them into our life. We also don’t sit around waiting. We take the initiative.
  • Teaching–when we bring people into our life and organization, we teach them. The first characteristic of disciples is that they have a desire to learn more about the teaching and vision of the leader.
  • Provide Experiences with Feedback–when we have taught them the basics, we put them into situations where they can practice (Jesus was all about action verbs, remember). Then, we can guide their growth by providing feedback about practical ways to grow and do better.
  • Provide a Growth Path–teach the practices that will help them grow as mature disciples who can then go and make other disciples.
  • Turn them loose to start the process all over again–Let them go. Jack Welch, when he was CEO of GE, was asked about the management development program that actually did this practice so well that the company had an abundance of good leaders. Aren’t you afraid of losing some to other organizations? No, we keep the ones best for us and let the others go lead in other places. There comes a time when the mother bird kicks the baby out of the nest and they must fly. So, with our disciples.

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