Jason taught the final message in a series called “Disciple” yesterday. This series has been a challenge to our church to redefine what it means to be a follower of Christ. In short, it's a move away from defining oneself as a “Christian” in light of church attendance and rules to taking on the life of a true disciple, a follower of Jesus, a pursuer of the heart of God.
In previous weeks we determined that disciples touch lepers, befriend prostitutes, and offend Pharisees. Disciples also “go fishing” or make other disciples, they wash the feet of others, break bread with others… Do you see a pattern here? Relationship.
Disciples share life. And they share Christ.
The finale of this series took to heart the last command that Christ made before he ascended into heaven: “Go and make disciples of all nations…” (Matthew 28:19)
The very last thing that Jesus said to His disciples was to GO. The Greek, poreuomai, literally means to travel, to depart. It means to take a journey. A disciple goes out, which is interesting when you consider the American church model. The American church is so consumed with getting people in their doors. “Let’s do whatever we can to get people to COME!” The productions, the plays, the concerts, door hangers and fliers, Vacation Bible School… While all of these things are beneficial in purpose, anyone who sneeks a peek behind the board room doors knows that they are also utilized by churches to draw families into their sanctuaries.
Perhaps the challenge for the American church, for you and I, is not to get people to come, but to go to them. “They” are everywhere. Who are “they?” They are the neighbor who has suffered a terrible loss, the co-worker who can’t put food on the table, the family member you have written off, the friend who needs you to forgive, and the one who needs your apology. Now that you have been sent out, they are all around you, and they were meant to be a part of your journey.
Where has Christ asked you to go? Or better yet, to whom has he sent you?