The battle is weary, the race is long, the stakes are high, and sometimes we feel like giving up! Yet we are called "to press on toward the goal to win the prize..." (Phil 3:14). How can we run the race with "perseverance and not grow weary and lose heart" (Heb 12:1). In Philippians 3:20-4:1 the Apostle Paul tells us how.
Members of our church provide some testimonies of God's impact through the Master Life sermon series.
Our job in multiplying disciples is to concentrate on the few God gives us so that they can reproduce in others what we have instilled in them.
"As an obedient disciple of Christ, you will become a disciple maker. As a disciple maker, you will be able to train spiritual disciples as they grow into maturity. Your ultimate goal is to give them resources so they become responsible for their own growth. You want them to be able to feed themselves spiritually and to bear much fruit. The disciples' responsibility is to mature to the point that they are living holy lives, developing the nature and character of Jesus, and bearing much fruit . . . Our ultimate example of how to disciple is Jesus" (Avery T. Willis Jr., Master Life).
My granddaughter Gracie received her "straight-out-of-kindergarten" T-shirt a few weeks ago. She had a great year and again I witnessed an ideal learning environment. ‘Mrs. G’ was a skilled teacher. Gracie had involved parents and grandparents, and Gracie was a motivated student. When a person moves straight out of spiritual death or darkness, they need a spiritual learning environment. Spiritual children need attention, nourishment, someone to help them grow and mature in Christ, and they need to have a desire to do so. A church’s task is not complete until a spiritual infant becomes a co-laborer in ministry.
As Christians, we have the privilege and the purpose to share the good news of Jesus Christ with others, teaching them how to follow Him (Mt 28:19-20). This witness occurs through our words and our deeds toward everyone we meet. Therefore, the best place to start is within our already established relationships. Love without this mission is incomplete and worldly.
"Discipleship is a relationship - a relationship with God and a relationship with others. Christians are not immune to relationship problems. [But] . . . Broken relationships must be reconciled as soon as possible" (Master Life). When you operate in love toward everyone around you, your life will be a dynamic and living witness to the love and power of God.
Jesus was a carpenter. I'm assuming He knew how to build things. I'm also assuming He was pretty good at it! From the moment Jesus began His public ministry at age 30, He was in the business of building disciples. His last words before His ascension are recorded in Matthew 28:19-20. He calls His followers (that's us) to continue "making (building) disciples." After Jesus left, it did not take long for His followers to obediently follow His command. In Acts 2 we see the Apostles fulfilling their call to "make (build) disciples."