Thursday, December 06, 2007

Making Disciple (Part 13)

I attended the funeral of my great grandma yesterday. She was a wonderful grandma and I'm going to miss her. Christmas just won't be the same. She was a great example of how to love God and others with all your heart.

The next principle for making disciples from the Great Commission is...

3. Discipleship involves God’s people going to others

One of the first participles we encounter in the Great Commission is the verb “go”. Churches across the world have been charged by God to take His message to the world/others/sinners. How good is your church at going to the lost? There are many ways to implement this ministry in your local church. Here are several to spark your own ideas and get you thinking creatively.

§ Ministry to others – Talk to members of your church and see if they know of someone in the community who has needs that need met. For example, someone in your church may have an elderly friend in need of having their house repainted. Organize a team and go and do this. Don’t go at this half-hearted, buy the best materials and make sure the job is done properly. Work as if God is watching. Again, there are probably people just waiting to be asked to do some type of ministry like this. You may have a church full of gifted painters, carpenters, roofers, landscapers, welders, electricians, construction workers, or other types of workers willing to lend a hand to the needy. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

§ Blessing ministries – This is a chance for your church to do something good to others without expecting anything in return. A youth group could pass out water at a local park to those playing basketball. Cups of hot coffee could be handed out downtown during the winter season to those traveling by foot. The blessing ministry is limited to how much money your church or people want to spend. You could offer to buy $20.00 worth of groceries to several people outside of Wal-Mart or the local grocery store. You could secretly pay for someone’s meal at a restaurant. The blessing ministry is bound only to imagination and amount of money one or the church is willing to spend.

§ Servant ministries – This is a simple ministry that asks God’s sons and daughters to serve others. Shovel snow from your neighbor’s drive. Rake leaves in the fall. Another idea is to take a group from church to someone’s house to clean it. Just make sure you have adequate supplies and servants with the right attitudes for whatever you do.

§ Prayer ministries – This ministry might be somewhat aggressive and awkward, but if we believe in the power of prayer we have nothing to fear because we know God answers. This ministry asks members of the church to go and ask people in the community if they can pray for them. It would be a good idea for members to keep track of prayers and answers to them.
Again, I believe the ministry of going to others is of primary importance. This is a part of the discipleship process we cannot neglect. The fact of the matter is, people are not coming in droves to our churches. We must go to them. Whatever we can do as a church to bring Jesus to others, in hopes of making them disciples, should be done. This may lead to some uncomfortable changes and less time in our pretty stain-glassed buildings, but the results are worth it. God has a heart for the lost and they matter to Him. The parables of the lost sheep, lost coin, and the prodigal son give us a glimpse into the Father’s heart. He deeply loves His creation. Every person is made in the image and likeness of God. Is this motivation enough for us to go to others?

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