This fall, we’re focusing on our value of Mission. In last week’s devotion, we saw how Jesus bookended the last assignment He gave His disciples and: it was all about Him. His authority, His presence, His commitment. (read it below). Whatever else Jesus tells us to do, it’s based on what he has already done.
Now, Jesus is going to give us instructions, and we can follow those instructions because of what he has already done. Jesus makes it possible.
There are actually four things we’re going to highlight over the next few weeks about the instruction that Jesus gives.
Often, we think that “making disciples” means being a salesman for Jesus (i.e. Jesus is the product and our goal is to get people to invest). As a result, our efforts can be too heavy-handed or become non-existent.
I recently received an email from a guy who wanted to sell me software that I had been considering. I hadn’t purchased it because it’s prohibitively expensive. I know that most of time you get what you pay for, and this software was no exception. Regardless, I couldn’t be convinced to purchase it because of the cost.
Then he told me about the 30-day money back guarantee. He asked me to try it out, told me to use it for a while, and see if it helped me out. There wasn’t a commitment. I could check it out at my own pace. He didn’t want me to pass on the deal he was offering simply because of the up-front costs. So, do you know what I did?
I tried it out.
“Making disciples” doesn’t necessarily mean converting them. It doesn’t necessarily mean they will believe. It certainly doesn’t mean they will immediately obey. (All of those things come later, even in the great commission!) Making disciples is literally just calling someone to follow Jesus.
Let me say it again: our job is simply to go and call people to follow Jesus. To hear what he has to say. To see what his other followers are like. To check out the crowd that surrounds him. Jesus said, “follow me”. We say, “follow Him”. That’s what it means to make disciples.
Some of those disciples will follow at a distance, some will follow closely; some will eventually leave, some will settle for Jesus as a good moral teacher, but some will enter into a saving relationship with Jesus. Each person begins that relationship with Jesus when they are asked to follow Him.
What that means for Restore is that MISSION ought to lead to an increase in attendance at our various gatherings. We are specifically focusing on growth this Fall at Restore, because we want to see more people following Jesus. We’re going to be getting the word out on social media, encouraging you to bring a friend to church, serving our community where we can, and working together to call people to make disciples and accomplish our value of mission.
It’s not just our idea; Jesus told us to do it!