I recently bought a new van! We needed a second vehicle and started looking some time ago. I spent hours and invested lots of time examining and researching everything I could about several different models. I researched them so much that I started seeing ads and might add that I am still seeing ads for vans when I browse the internet or get on Facebook. Amy and I took lots of time and weighed the cost of making this purchase. We went to the dealership, test drove the van, came back and were ready to buy! As I pulled out my checkbook to pay for the van, a flood of thoughts came to my mind and I wondered for a moment if I was making the right decision. In the end though, we weighed the cost and knew that we were making the right decision.
Following Jesus by making disciples isn’t difficult to understand, but it can be very costly. Jesus’ teachings are often difficult to process and sometimes even handle. Many times, it seems that by sharing His teachings, we are often rejected along with His message. Just check out John 15:18–20!
“It’s easy enough to understand, but it can be extremely costly. The cost is totally worth it when you look at the potential it has to radically change lives.”
Our theme for the year is Multiply. We have walked through what this looks liked in regards to the whole health of our church, how grace affects our response and our relationship with God, and now this idea of multiplying Christ through me.
Sadly, it seems that disciple making has become the exclusive job of pastors (and missionaries). Think of it this way; salespeople sell, doctors practice medicine, lawyers defend and uphold the laws of the land, teachers teach and ministers minister. It seems, though far too often, that’s the way it works in most of our churches. While it’s true that the pastors, elders, and apostles in the New Testament made disciples, we can’t overlook the fact that discipleship was everyone’s responsibility. The early church took their responsibility to make disciples very seriously. To them, the church wasn’t a company run by a CEO. Rather, they compared the church to a body that functions properly only when every member is doing its part.
Paul has a lot to say regarding this and explained the function of the church in Ephesians 4:11–16:
“He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ … we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”
Paul saw the church as a community of redeemed people in which each person is actively involved in doing the work of ministry. The pastor is not the minister—at least not in the way we typically think of a minister. The pastor is the equipper, (the Chief Disciple maker) and every member of the church is a Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The implications are huge. Don’t think of this as merely a theological issue. Picture yourself in this passage. Paul said that your job is to do the work of ministry! Jesus commanded you to make disciples!
Each day of our life we must weigh the cost of decisions and choices as we live out our life. When I think of this power of the statement “Multiplying Christ in Me” I am excited and encouraged that part of God’s plan for his church is using you and me to help multiply HIS KINGDOM! God made you the way you are; He has provided and will continue to provide you with everything you need to accomplish the task. Jesus commands each of us to look at the people around us and start making them into disciples. Obviously, only God can change people’s hearts, but we are called to be obedient in making the effort to teach them, even though we still have plenty to learn ourselves. We must weigh the cost and be willing to put a little skin in the game. As we dig into this new series, I would encourage you to examine where you are in all of this and weigh the cost!