Recently, I was reading through Jesus's last words that He ever said here on earth. Doesn't that prick your ears for a moment, the LAST thing he said to his friends, his leaders, his Church? It must be important. It got me thinking, what would I say to my wife, to my kids, to my friends if it was the last thing I could say? Anyway.
Some parts of the Bible were never meant to be studied, they were meant to be practiced...
Jesus chose these words from Mathew 28:18-20, Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
The question that bothers me the most is, "So why aren't we doing that?" It seems like the church has gotten out of the habit of making disciples the way Jesus did. One of my interns (apprentices) asked me during a work project, "Do you make all your interns do work projects with you?" I replied, "Absolutely! This is how we grow together. And someday, you will need to work alongside of your apprentice and pass everything you have learned here to them!
During a conversation with one of my friends who is in ministry, I expressed that he should be apprenticing (interns, disciples, whatever) others in his ministry. He explained to me that he really didn't have the time to give to something like that and then he went back to studying his Bible. I was shocked and the only thing I could say was, "That is sad." What I really wanted to do is shake him and say, "How can we ask the people we lead to do things we are unwilling to do!"
I came across this short video from Francis Chan about making disciples that I think brilliantly summarizes the point that I am trying to make.
Don't get bummed out, discipling people is easier than you think!
It's not about leading a class or finding a book to walk through with someone. You don't have to be in full-time ministry, or give up hours of your life to it (your family fun nights are safe) And you don't need to know Greek or Hebrew, or have read the entire Westminster Catechism of Theology to start mentoring people.
I like to use the simple tool of coffee. It takes nothing to go get a cup of coffee with someone and ask questions about their life! If I don't have time for coffee, I bring them along with what I am doing in my life. I have them tag along with me when I go grocery shopping, or have them help me with my house, or any ministry projects I am doing. It is about folding people into your life. Jesus used this type simple of a tool when he went up to his disciples and asked, "Come follow me."