ANDERSON CHRISTIANS CHURCH
“It’s not where we go, it’s who we are.”
Making Disciples “Anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:27
Disciple: a student, a pupil.
A little girl standing on a chair watching her mother make cookies, an intern in the hospital learning practical aspects of medicine, the apprentice sitting under a master craftsman, all of these are disciples in the practical sense of the word. They are students, and each is learning to mimic their leader.
Jesus selected 12 men to become His disciples. Jesus fed and spoke to thousands, but he spent his short time in public ministry (a little over 3 years), he poured into, ministered, and disciple a small group. Because of Jesus’ method of intimate teaching, after his ascension, within a 10 year period, there were more Christians than could be counted. Jesus left disciples who filled a purpose, not just folks that fill seats.
We must be disciples for Christ! John the Baptist had disciples (Matt. 9:14, 11:2, 14:12), Pharisees had disciples (Matt. 22:16). Paul had disciples (Acts 9:25). Both John and Paul pointed their disciples to Jesus Christ (John 1:29-31, 1 Cor. 11:1)
As leaders here at ACC, we have to know that our objective is to continue to make disciples. First things first:
We will not package programs together to draw crowds. Many churches have huge crowds, but are not making disciples. When two cars collide, the result is inevitable. It will draw a crowd, but that’s just it, Disciples of Christ are not made by accident. It is a result of planning and purpose. There is nothing wrong with a crowd, as long as we are in worship learning about God and His son Jesus. But the work starts before the crowd comes and after the crowd is gone, when no one is around but the leaders; that is us.
Jesus drew crowds, and that was wonderful. We simply cannot get caught up in counting the people, we want to make the people count! Jesus fed well over 5,000 people. It was an act of love, and filling an obvious need. The miraculous feat brought them back on following days, but Jesus did not feed them again. Because the worst thing we can do is make the meal the magnet (discuss this) and not Jesus. When Jesus really started to teach them to become disciples, many started to leave. They wanted food instead of faith, they wanted loves and not love. Jesus let them go (John 6:66). We have to be ready for some people that are only looking to be entertained, or their flesh excited, and teach God’s word. We will let them go. We are not commissioned to make crowds, we are commissioned to make disciples. Matt. 28:19 “Go ye therefore and make disciples of all nations…….
We are believing God for a multitude of folks, but not because we appealed to their flesh. We want to make disciples of all nations, and we certainly expect great things from God. We will not compromise with a “flash in the pan” gimmick to reel people in only to leave them dangling on the hook.
Defining making disciples
The renewing of the mind. The Greek word for disciple or teach “matheteuo” literally means to direct one’s mind to something. It is one who is a student, one who learns by doing. A medical intern after reading and studying spends time working in the hospital under the direction and instructions from medical personnel. No one knows anything unless he or she is willing to learn.
Philippians 2: 1-8 is a wonderful series of instructions to create the correct mindset in following Christ Jesus.
Finally, one must enter the experience of living the Christian life. If you are an intern, part of your training is actually diagnosing sicknesses and treating patients. You will remain one until you begin to diagnose, perform, and experience this walk for yourself.
A perfect attendance record does not make a disciple. Quoting the bible word for word does not do it. A disciple of Jesus Christ is actively applying Jesus’ life and teaching to their own life. A disciple learns in order to do. Paul 1 Cor. 11:1 Basically Paul says mimic me as I am mimicking Christ.
Next week: We will discuss the model disciple Jesus the Christ.