Jesus gave us The Great Commission but we have made the Great Omission!
Jesus said, “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.” (Matt 28:19-20 NIV)
My NT Greek friends tell me that in this sentence there are three verbs in the indicative tense and one verb in the imperative tense. The indicative tense is used to make statements of facts. For example, “The dog bit the man.”, indicates a simple fact. Now, when the dog’s owner commanded, “Attack!”, that’s an imperative.
When we look at this Great Commission sentence, we learn that “make” is an imperative. It’s a command. The indicative tenses are, “go”, “baptizing” and “teaching”. In other words, Jesus is saying, “As you go, make disciples, baptizing and teaching them … Jesus’ command is to make disciples. How are we doing with that?
What is a disciple?
A disciple is not just interested in receiving teaching, but is someone who wants to become like the disciple maker. The disciple wants to emulate the disciple maker.
What is a disciple maker?
A disciple maker wants to invest her life with God into someone willing to be a disciple. The Apostle Paul was a disciple maker when he said, “Emulate me as I emulate Christ.” Disciple makers are themselves disciples.
How was Jesus a disciple maker?
First, he lived his life in close proximity to the twelve that he was meant to disciple. They did life together for three years. The disciples began to think, talk and act like Jesus. When Peter and John were brought before the court the leaders were astonished at them because they were so impressive. Then they realized that these men had been with Jesus! (Acts 4:13)
Second, Luke 6 says that Jesus went to pray all night before he selected the twelve who were to become his main leaders. He didn’t make his choice on human understanding, otherwise, who would have picked THOSE men! Prayer is vital in every aspect of the Christian life, including determining into whom you must be investing your life.
Third, his motive was love. Everything he did was rooted in love. Pouring his life self sacrificially into his disciples was no exception. He had no interest in dominating and controlling anyone.
If we are to use Jesus as our model and just these three criteria for disciple making, how would you say you are doing? How would you say the Church is doing? If we are supposed to disciple nations, how are we doing at discipling Canada?
My own spirit is provoked by these questions! I know that success in ministry is often measured by how many have said “the sinners prayer”, or how many fill the seats of our churches. However, if we measure our effectiveness by how many are becoming more Christ-like through our influence then we’ll see we’ve committed the Great Omission.
Let’s turn this ship around, friends! It’s not too late. Canada needs more disciples of a Christ.