The BIG idea of why the church exists is found in Matthew 28:18-20. The church exists at the core to make disciples of Jesus. You must be convinced that disciple making is for everyone, and not just a few elite people who have the gifting and passion for it.
Why is making disciples so important? Jesus has commanded us to disciple and Jesus has modeled to us what disciple making looks like. The early church lived and breathed it and unless the church makes disciple making the main agenda, world evangelization won’t take place.
It’s not enough for the church to have an overseas mission program and neglect mission at home base. Weak mission at home weakens mission thrust in foreign lands. When the local church prioritizes disciple making, Christians become healthy and start to reproduce more disciples.
Technically, every Christian is a disciple of Jesus and called to make disciples. God expects every believer to be a mature, reproducing disciple. Disciple making isn’t an even, it’s a process and a lifestyle. Jesus Christ is our chief example of disciple making. Jesus wasn’t random in his ministry. He had a plan, priorities and goals. So important was the mission to Jesus that he made 5 Great Commission declarations throughout his ministry. If it’s worth saying once, it’s worth saying over and over again.
There were 4 key statements in the Gospels that help us focus in on the disciple making process in the life of the local church:
- Come and see = Invite people to activities that introduce them to Christ and the church.
- Come and follow me = Show people how to follow Christ and do it with them in a life group.
- Come and be with me = Train disciples to lead others and let them do it themselves
- Remain in me and Go and make disciples = Send disciples out to make more disciples