“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” —Matt. 28:19-20
These verses are often quoted and often misapplied. They have been the standard bearer for evangelistic efforts for many years in our culture. However, a careful examination of these verses shows that the Lord was encouraging us to make disciples, not make converts.
Is evangelizing inferred in these verses? Of course. One must hear the gospel first before becoming a disciple. But the command is “teaching them to observe all that I commanded you” and that takes more than an afternoon of sharing. It takes a lifetime. We must share who we are with each another. We must share our tears, our laughter, our hard times and our good times. To be honest, when hearts are open, sometimes it hurts. But this is necessary in order to obey to the Great Commission. We believe that if one’s heart is hurt while being obedient to the Lord, then the Lord Himself will heal. That’s called growth.
Discipleship is challenging! That is why most churches don’t do it. It is much easier to share a tract or share the knowledge of the cross with someone. That is both noble and good. But if one hopes to grow to his or her’s fullest potential in the Lord, if one hopes to “know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings,” and to know the joy of the Lord, one must be obedient in all things–including the command to disciple and be discipled. Our prayer is that you will join us in our discipleship efforts known as the One Brick Ministry.