What does it mean to make disciples for Christ, that’s a good question? In using the word making disciples, we are actually taking some of the credit away from God. It is God that forms us and makes us into what he needs for his church and for his beloved people.
We the church don’t actually make disciples, but we do nurture people into a growing relationship that strengthens faith, participation, an outward and inwardness love that is shown to our fellow brothers and sisters.
I agree with John Wesley’s teaching that “faith is based in knowledge and understanding of God’s will as revealed in the Scripture.” First and foremost our faith and disciple making has to start with Scripture — reading it, listening to it, and living it. God is giving us an instruction book the Holy Bible, it’s not a diving board which we spring into Christianity. In fact the Bible is the rock on which we must stand, not leaping from it into anything else, but standing firm on the Word. Doesn’t really matter what denomination you are, where you go to church — or even if you go to church — for if you really get into the word it tells you to assemble together in worship. This all starts with the Word.
I hear many times people misquoting the Bible or quoting things that are supposed to be in the Bible which are not. Let’s be honest here, people drive their car and listen to radio and watch TV more than they read their Bible. If we read it, and really get into it, we understand that we don’t have to be perfect to be called into God’s work; in fact a murderer, Moses, led the people out of bondage towards the Promised Land. He was forgiven and called into work and service for God. We, as the church and leaders of the church, don’t make people into anything, but it is God who transforms people through the redeeming blood of Jesus Christ. Transforming people into what He needs for the church and for the people of this world.
We are all unique and individuals, but God loves us despite our differences and outward nature but transforms our inwardness towards the love of Jesus Christ. Sometimes people’s faith grows enormous very quickly, and at other times it may stretch out decades. God told me a long time ago it’s not always about making a lot of people love Him, or about the numbers, perhaps just one, because that one matters.
So readers, dust off that Bible, download the app, or go and listen to the Word. Get into God’s Word and He will get into your life and your life will never be the same again. When a change is evident in someone’s life the disciple making process is beginning to show on the outside, the inside has been transformed by the Holy Spirit of God.
So quit looking for faults in other churches, preachers, church leaders and the Bible and seek God for what He is. None of us are perfect, in fact the only perfect one they hung on a cross, and the ones He had called into service abandoned Him in this moment. Think of what the Christian church could do today if we would simply unite and come together under one banner of love in Jesus name, because we will be together in heaven anyway.
— Rev. Kevin Farmer is Pastor of Claypool United Methodist Church at Davin and a member of the Logan Ministerial Association