The last command the Lord Jesus
gave the church was what we call the Great Commission
: “Go and make disciples of all the nations . . . “ A large manufacturing plant came to our town producing shoes. The corporate management invested great sums of money and many hours among many people to produce the finest shoes possible. Investors spent money on salaries the best staffing and management they could find. Digital sewing machinery was installed for shoe-making. Materials were purchased from all over and shipped in to make the shoes. The plant is now in operation with several hundred employees busy working hard. Machines are running at full capacity. Activity is at a maximum.
The international president of the company arrives for an inspection and asks the production manager, “How many shoes have we produced so far?”
“None,” the manager answers matter of factly.
“None!” the president is shocked. “How long has this plant been in operation?”
“Two years? And still no shoes?”
“That’s right,” says the manager, “no shoes, but we are really busy. In fact, we have been so busy that we are nearly all tired out. We don’t have any shoes yet, but we have been very active in our jobs.”
What do you think the management would do in such a case? Have coronaries? Become angry? Be concerned? Fire somebody? Find the problem and fix it? Probably all these things, because the reason for this shoe plant’s existence is to produce shoes.
Now let’s think about the church. There is a lot of activity. Men and women are here working very hard. The budget shows a lot of money invested into a lot of ministries. The church is very active. But the purpose of the church is to produce disciples.
When the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association
goes into a city to do an evangelistic outreach, they make numerous calls to church to get the names of men and women who know their Bibles well enough to lead someone to Christ. In one large city, when the caller got the church secretary on the phone and asked her for such a person, she replied, “Would you repeat those qualifications again, please?” The man from BGEA did.
After a long pause, the secretary said rather wistfully, “You know, we did have a man like that in church once, but he moved away.” Jesus himself said, “the harvest is plentiful but he workers are few (Matt. 9:37). If we are honest with ourselves, we must admit that the same is true today. Spiritually qualified workers – disciples who labor to make other disciples – are rare.
Instead, most churches are really busy, but they are not producing any disciples, any leaders – and they just keep on going.