Monday, June 22, 2009

Go and Make Disciples - Converting the locals

“Go and make disciples of all the nations.” I have been thinking of this command by Jesus found in Matthew 28:19 and mark 16:15. As we have moved and are “church shopping”, we have been coming to many different churches in the area to find one that fits us and reflects what we believe to be God’s truth. Perhaps we have sat jut next to you in a pew. When we left church this week and were discussing what we liked and what we didn’t , this scripture came to me again, “Go and make disciples of the world.”

These churches were not following this command, they were waiting for the faithful to walk to them. The command does not read, “Open your doors and let the faithful in.” It says “Go!” “Go and make disciples of the world.” I thought of this even within the context of our old church. We did go and make disciples through our participation in Heifer International, the Crop Walk, Operation Christmas child, our mission trip to Kentucky, but what about those just steps from our door. Did we expect them to find their way through our doors? If someone new came through our door, were we “making disciples” or just giving current believers a place to practice?

“Go and make disciples of the world.” Doesn’t this command imply that we should always be looking for those that need introduction to Jesus? Many of us avoid the Jehovah’s witnesses as they come to our door to spread their word. While we may not agree with their total message, we should admire them for their conviction in living out this command.

Interestingly, in Luke 24:47, the command is phrased slightly differently; “repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem”. The “Go” has been defined. Go not only means to spread the gospel across the world, but to also make sure that it is spread in the backyard. Just because Jesus lived in and around Jerusalem did not mean that all people heard the gospel or accepted on the first hearing. “Preach to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”

I would like to personally inspire you to think about how your church could live out this scripture right in your neighborhood or community. Do not wait for believers to enter your doors but go out among the people and share with them the gospel

Some thoughts on how to do this:
1. Send a welcome letter to new families in the area
2. Hold a Bible Study at a local coffee shop
3. Post notices about special church events on community bulletin boards
4. Hold an outdoor concert of a Christian singer or group.
5. Have your church bazaar women participate in local craft fairs
6. Host the local Farmer’s Market or other non-religious event at your church
7. Start a book club – advertise throughout the town.

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