Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
These are the words of Jesus to His little band of followers shortly before He ascended into heaven following His resurrection. He would have been speaking to them all, not just the eleven disciples that had been with Him for the last three years, but to all of the believers at that time, which would have included men, women, possibly young people and perhaps even children. The Book of Acts places the number of this group as approximately 120 people. The important thing about this is that He is speaking to them all; not just the leaders, or the “official” disciples, but all of them, which has implications to us today, making this a call to all believers, not just pastors, evangelists or missionaries.
In this statement, He asks them to “make disciples” everywhere. In the Greek New Testament, the word translated “make disciples” is one word, the same word used for “disciple,” just turned into an imperative. A more accurate rendering would be “to disciple all nations.” Eugene Peterson in The Message renders it: “train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life.” That’s really the sense of it, and it’s a big difference from “making disciples.”
“Making disciples” implies turning someone into something. It implies conversion, and given the church’s bent towards evangelism in the last hundred years, this has most often been interpreted as “make converts.” Go, get people saved and move on.
No. The closer sense of it would be, “Go, and as you go, train everyone you meet.” You are a disciple, discipling. You are a learner, leading other learners. You are a follower, helping others to follow Christ. School is always in session. You don’t even know who’s who. You simply share the truth with everyone you meet, and pour your life into those who want more. That’s what it means to “make disciples.”
Of course, in order to do this, you must have this learning process going on in your own life. A disciple is a student … a learner … a pupil. We are all students together, training each other in the things the Lord is teaching us. It’s like working out in the gym with others who want to get in shape.
So far we have: “Go, don’t stay in one place, and as you go, take what you are learning and share it with everybody.”
This doesn’t mean that everyone you meet is going to want to be trained, but that isn’t our responsibility. We just train those who, like ourselves, are trainable. Besides, we are not working alone here; we are in tandem with the Holy Spirit. We are simply picking up where Jesus left off, and Jesus simply trained everyone around Him in the way of the gospel. If they didn’t like it, they didn’t hang around very long.
From Kathy, a MemberPartner of the Membership Committee – Day 5
If they were perfect pitchmen – and because they know us better than we know ourselves, John & Marti could manipulate our giving power by …
“Your bill is past due”…
Unlike the mythical schoolyard drug slinger who gets you to pay after you are hooked, or an NPR fundraiser that reminds listeners how much they rely on public radio (rely is probably the most oft-repeated word during these campaigns) — asking them to put a price on their dependence — John simply gives away his product and then requests we donate according to our capability … Brilliant!
Catch MemberPartnerships offer a pain-free way to help further the Gospel of Welcome. It is a Brilliant idea whose time has come. It is simple to enroll. It is an uncomplicated approach to achieve a vital ministry. It is Simply Brilliant.
Every time a new MemberPartner is activated, the Gospel of Welcome message extends farther beyond the 139 countries we are presently serving, new enrichment programs are added, and our services are expanded to members, contributors, and readers.
What’s more, a real, tangible economic advantage is offered to all Catch citizens, irrespective of financial capacity.
- To keep it simple, rich or poor, if there is a “readiness” to give – a built-into-the-heart desire to give, “the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.”(2 Corinthians 8:12).
- For those without the capacity to give, MemberPartner sponsorships are available.
- Together with this, opportunities exist to register friends and family tax free MemberPartnerships or honor a loved one through an honorary PartnerMembership in his or her memory.