Jesus tells us to, “Go and make disciples.”
For much of the recent past, that has meant, “Go and invite people to church.”
What else can it mean? What else should it mean? What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus Christ now?
Our discipleship is rooted in Jesus’ teachings, miracles, death, and resurrection. It grows with discussion and debate. It strengthens as we wrestle with how to apply faith to our own lives and contemplate what it means for the world around us. Discipleship matures into a relationship with the Triune God through these encounters, conversations, meditations, and prayers.
As a church, we need to think about how to make disciples. Yes, we need to be the place where people can gather together to worship. We also need to be a place where people can gather together to disagree, learn, grow, and evolve. This is where discipleship takes hold. We need to sit down in small groups and talk about the intersections of faith and violence, love and guns, hope and racism. If the church isn’t the place where these topics are discussed, then we leave the ultimate decisions bereft of serious engagement with the crucified and risen Christ. If the church is not the place that we seriously engage our faith, then what are we?
Jesus didn’t call us to go out and make a group of tithing churchgoers. He called us to take our discipleship into the world to make disciples of others. To do this requires a daily devotion to looking at the world around us and asking where our faith intersects what we see. My prayer for myself, my family, and my church is that we would have eyes to see Jesus at work all around us and a discipleship honed enough to recognize and join him.
With love and gratitude,