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Why Become a Disciple-Making Church? - by Barry Sneed

We are thrilled that you have decided to join the discipleship revolution. Churches across the globe have begun to realize the importance of this biblical mandate (Matt. 28:19–20) and are imagining the transformation of lives and the culture where their church exists. Church leaders like you are dreaming of a congregation and community saturated with mature followers of Christ willing to do whatever it takes to further God’s Kingdom.

Some have asked, “Why would I want to lead my church to become a disciple-making church when the people I lead are happy with the status quo?” There are many undeniable and essential reasons.

1. Jesus expected it. Jesus never anticipated that His bride would become a people who simply hosted church events and held weekend worship experiences. He declared that we should, “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.” (Matt. 28:19–20)

2. Mature disciples evangelize. Every biblical church is passionate about making the gospel known to the world allowing those who are in the world to start and eternal relationship with Christ. Mature disciples intuitively tell others about the Jesus who has transformed their own lives.

3. A disciple-making church is never void of leaders. One of the most tragic realities in the present day church is that she is void of the leaders necessary to accomplish the vision the senior pastor has been given. A disciple-making church produces leaders who produce leaders.

4. It transforms the church dynamic. Many churches suffer with a church full of immature followers of Christ. Because of this, the church is constantly dealing with petty arguments and unhappy congregants. At the same time, those who visit the church are hesitant to join as they sense the tension and immaturity of the people who make up the church. A church that makes disciples is full of people who exhibit “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control,” the fruit of the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22–23) A church made up of people exhibiting these characteristics is a magnet for both believers and unbelievers.

5. It transforms households. Many families are made up of husbands and wives that are church attenders but have never been discipled. Because they have never grown to maturity spiritually these couples live a life of carnality often leading to divorce. For those who do stay together and raise children, their children are void of parents who nurture them spiritually so, when they reach adulthood, these children often leave the faith for the rest of their lives.

6. Disciple making allows the congregation to take ownership and empowers the laity to care for one another. Many pastors are overwhelmed with an unending number of counseling sessions, mediating conversations between those who are at odds with one another, and easing the tensions of immature believers concerned that the church isn’t “meeting my needs.” Over time, a disciple-making church is filled with people who need less counseling as those who have been discipled depend more and more on the power of God and the Holy Spirit, are mature in Christ so they are less conflictual and when conflict does arise they follow biblical directives to singularly clean up the mess that has been made if possible (Matthew 18:15-17), and who realize that it isn’t the churches role to meet their needs, rather, it is their role to serve Christ through the church and in so doing, they will be fulfilled.

These six why’s of a disciple-making will make your church a church that makes the gospel known, is a magnet for those far from Christ and believers seeking to be part of a healthy congregation, and makes it possible for you to give your time to study of God’s Word, prayer, and leadership.

See you downstream . . . . . .

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