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We Make Disciples, Not Just Converts

Summit Life / J.D. Greear
The Cross Radio
November 22, 2021 9:00 am

We Make Disciples, Not Just Converts

Summit Life / J.D. Greear

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November 22, 2021 9:00 am

Pastor J.D. teaches on a third core value: “We make disciples, not just converts.” Most churches celebrate how many people attend services or “make decisions” or get baptized. But our central commission, as a church, is much simpler—and much harder: We are called to make disciples.

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Today on Summit life with Judy Greer side was not just a believer disciples also warned the church will say here is not the family you're supposed to warm a family whose connections should be even closer to us.

Biological families true disciple is a family member light their author and legend JD Eric. As always, I'm your host Molly bit of edge is that many churches seem to celebrate how many people attend services or make decisions or get baptized but the real purpose of the church is it our central commission as a church is much simpler and at the same time, much harder. We are called to make disciples what looked like today.

Pastor Judy teaches from Matthew chapter 28 which you may recognize as the great commission. Dive back into our new teaching series titled Beta movement with the third core value of the church we make disciples not just convert well. My family to save the country. My was born in West Virginia and deliver while you go to North Carolina when I hear the song rose to me almost till it got teary wells about their story about a 911 call that was received. The operator, a picks of the phone.

He hears this just distressed whale on the other. The line where this you know, just mount guys like Bubba Bubba is dead pages were walking in the woods and he grabs his just falls the ground now is unconscious and is not brave and there operator says okay okay sir, as you remain as calm as possible.

First, we need to confirm that he's dead and the line goes totally silent and the operator here scuffling in the allowed shotgun blast and then sky just like on the phone is like okay now what I'm pretty sure this not a true story.

Even though Jody Martin insists that it is true.

I'm pretty sure is not true, but the point is, is clarity, especially when you're talking about something really really important assignment. Clarity is crucial and that's what this series that we are in the last few weeks and this one of the next one. That's what it's about is clarity about who we are as a church where we are going and what we are called to we get each of these four values that we been unpacking. We get them from the life of Jesus and from the example of the apostles today and explore our third value that is we make disciples not just converts we prioritize the gospel bubble. We do whatever it takes to reach all people, and we make disciples not just converts to Matthew 28 if you got your Bible turn it on or open it up to Matthew 28 Matthew 28 is the last chapter in the first book of the New Testament verse 19 records for us.

Jesus's last words to his disciples before he ascended his last words were go into all the world and make disciples.

The underlying stuff in your Bible. The only thing I would underline their is make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the father of the son and Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you. And behold, I'm with you always, to the end of the age now in English. There are several verbs in that sentence go make disciples, baptize, teach, but in Greek you were reading in Greek is only one verse that only verb is make disciples of all the other words that we translate as verbs are actually participles, which means they modify the verb, the verb is the simple thing the other things are extensions of the verb or applications of the verb make disciples is the central verb of the great commission.

Everything else that we do going teaching, baptizing everything else is an extension of that for everything else.

The church does make disciples is the center. It is the core. I think I first learned this from a book that I read in college. It was written in 1962 is a classic book you know that the definition of a classic book is a book that everybody's heard about and nobody's read. This is a classic book.

I would actually highly encourage you to read is called the master plan of evangelism that was written by guiding Robert Coleman in that book.

What Coleman says is this lesson. The great commission is not merely to go to the ends of the earth preaching the gospel, nor baptize a lot of converts to teach them the precepts of Christ but to make disciples to build men and women like themselves who were so constrained by the commission of Christ that they not only follow Jesus themselves, but Mrs. Keeler this led others to follow him. Also the criteria upon which any church should measure its success is not how many new names are added to the role nor how much the budget is increased, but rather how many Christians are actively winning souls and training them to win the multitudes. Most churches judge their success by how many attend or about how many decisions are baptisms at the but heaven does not celebrate any of those numbers. It only celebrates disciples once asked two questions today. Questionable one is what is a disciple and second, what is my role. What is your role in the disciple making process. We see there. Matthew 28 1920 okay first question what is a disciple. What is a disciple. If you been in church. You probably recognize the word disciple, but but otherwise it's not super common in our culture unless you spent time in a Christian circle like this one. If one of these words it Christians used by very few other people actually do. In fact, here's how I knew that every single time I try to type discipling into up a document or Word document or some of my computer and always auto corrects it to discipline so clearly Steve Jobs didn't get it. It is not super common view thinking of it like making disciples what is that mean the world we translate as disciple comes from the Hebrew word, tell me which was quite common word in the first century tell me was was kind of like a student. You might think of it like that but much more than a student aspiring Jewish religious and community leaders would would find a rabbi find a teacher and as somebody that they wanted to be like and and and and who's because they believed in and you would go and sit at that rabbi's feet sitting at their feet was like your application to learn from them.

They would examine you they would ply you with questions that would watch your life and if they thought that you could make a worthy towel bead or the disciple, then it is somebody who could carry on there because it would allow you to follow them and you would follow them for the next several years imitating their every move that write this down if you're taking notes disciple did not merely want to know what his master new disciple wanted to do what his master did this from Ray bonder line there is a New Testament scholar on.

Supposedly he says the highest compliment that you could give to a towel meter. A disciple was to say to them in the first century, the dust of your rabbi is all over you and that was a like him and you need to go take a bath or a shower saying that you were following his footsteps so closely that whatever your rabbi stepped in was was splashing up on you.

So again, a disciple did not merely want to know what his master new disciple wanted to do what his master did a disciple of Jesus is not somebody who simply wants to know what Jesus taught is important is that is a disciple of Jesus also wants to do what Jesus did the lives Jesus lived in the book of acts, the verb make disciples is used to describe both the initial act of helping somebody come to know Jesus, which happens in a moment, and it's also used, to describe the act of helping someone in the lifelong process of becoming more like Jesus process. It takes a lifetime. Now, in a moment I'm in a break down that lifelong process of becoming more like Jesus into in the five components, but first let's actually look at her second question, what is disciples number one, here's number two. Number two is what is my role in the disciple making process this commission to make disciples called the great commission was given to every Christian is not a special assignment for a few it was a central calling for every follower of Jesus and Titus two Paul commands the older women to train young women in second Timothy two Paul tells Timothy to train faithful men in his congregation so that they can train others. Also in Ephesians 6, Paul tells fathers to train their children in the ways of God. In Matthew 28. The key I commands missionaries tended to make disciples of all the nations in Hebrews 3.

The writer commands all Christians to exhort each other in the build each other up every single day. Peter and Paul in their letters command every Christian to use their gifts to build up and serve others in the body of Christ, the great commission applies to everyone. There is no such thing as a non-reproducing Christian that Jesus had 9419 follow me and I will make you a fisher of men.

Which means if you're really following Jesus is making you into that. John 15 eight Jesus said by this is my father glorify, that you bear much fruit and so what this proved to be my disciples.

That how do you prove that your disciple by bearing fruit in this area as well as others in the Christian life and implication is if you're not bearing fruit and you have reason to question whether or not your disciple at all, is living organisms reproduce a movement of disciple making disciples was God's plan for reaching the world you get that right is plan his plan for reaching the world is not big ministries with super talented preachers but but ordinary Christians filled with the spirit making disciples one by one. Everywhere they went. You you each of you are God's method Robert: when will the church learn this lesson. Preaching to the masses. All the necessary will never suffice in the work of preparing leaders for evangelism, nor can occasional prayer meetings and training classes for Christian workers do the job. Individual men and women are God's method God's plan for discipleship is not some theme but someone right everybody right now, .1 of the person around you disappointed him as a you you are God's method. I point yourself. I I am God's method. Now I know what you're saying you like me will can I do. I don't know that much about the Bible and not super talented I'm not even really an extrovert. I get awkward talking to people. It doesn't matter. Jesus said it was not about your natural ability is. It was really about your availability to be used by the Holy Spirit that's in the great commission. I would go with you and I want to do this three that one of my favorite promises that Matthew makes earlier, Jesus makes in the book of Matthew earlier in Matthew 11 and Jesus said, he said I of all those born among women which much everybody there's never been anybody that has been quite as talented in ministry is following you know this is a good Bible trivia question. Who was Jesus's favorite all-time preacher right was a starter J rounds with John the Baptist, but I guess it is right. Johnny Depp's excellent yes John the Baptist was Jesus's favorite preacher, a podcast John the Baptist. He loved on about WWJ TBD what was on that as he had it all okay.

He says he says none ever born to women is greater than John the Baptist. But I tell you surely the one who is least in my kingdom. John the Baptist now whispers what was least in my kingdom me well mean you have the least offer right your lease talented. You have the least contagious personality Middle East about the Bible. Your the least charismatic of you, whatever.

He reported that when you're least in the kingdom of heaven. I you have more potential in ministry than John the Baptist to see that something that John never had and that is you've got the fullness of the Spirit in you and you got the promise of Jesus and and and the news of the resurrection of what Jesus said is is in my kingdom the one who is is least is still the greatest because of the power the spirit and what the Spirit do through them is no longer about your ability no longer about how you preacher or your personality or how smart, talented you are simply you saying yes Lord yes Lord, I'm ready to be used only for the spirit to use me to make a disciple listen, this is the primary need of the hour, Kevin Teasdale, who is the president of the North American Mission Mr. Moore which is the largest church planting organization of the world. It's the organization for whom we plant almost all of our domestic churches. He says of their greatest need. Right now, get this, the greatest is not money raising the money it's qualified planters and the reason that we are short of planters and church leaders, he says, is that we have neglected discipleship without the like. Our main scorecard is getting people in the door, getting them baptized and that's important. Jesus has called us to disciple them to turn them into spiritual leaders that are able to reproduce themselves in the lives of others to listen at the church got good at discipleship than church growth and church planting would take care themselves listen Summit family and and and friends and I have told you this before, but this is very personal to me because because my data just got a new job in a in a new city in the transfer. There they heard about this exciting church that everybody will start to go to a my mom and dad when and basically God made their faith come alive. They work in other saved and baptized in and was exciting, but thankfully this pastor didn't just you know calendar decision about Eisenman reporter number somewhere, but that pastor did a very special interest to my dad and he made my dad part of his life on the EE turn my dad into a spiritual giant who became the godly is man that I knew who in turn poured into me. Now I'm pouring into you and were now a church of what 12,000+ in the triangle because a man poured into my dad because he wasn't satisfied to let my mom and dad merely come in and make a decision to get turned in as a member, but he knew that he needed to train him up as a leader so that that that leader to train others.

Recently that pastor went home to be with Jesus and my dad not go down to Georgia for his funeral and my dad is on the way down there. Just me and him. He said you know I cannot remember how Jesus was most was that the most life-changing season of my life. I can't remember hardly any of the sermons that that man preached, but I remember hearing him pray.

I remember watching him share Christ with the lady in the grocery store I remember hearing him counsel somebody in pain never watching him as he went to pay and claim the promises of God observing his life impacted me far more than anything I ever heard him speak or teach. I this is your role, you may not all be able to teach like me, but you can invite somebody into your life to observe your walk with Jesus to show them how to follow Jesus like you follow him.

Bottom line Summit Summit church if were going to be a movement, we can't just reach new people, we gotta turn them into disciples not just disciples and to disciple making disciples Summit reaching new people has always come really naturally to us, but this also not as natural mats, partially mindful we focus a lot on reaching your lot and growing wide, but not as much a growing date. I often say that were like the middle school and middle school boy who grew 5 inches over the course of one summer which is awesome but none of his close kidneys, all ganglion you need to put some meat on the scrawny little bones, where we are as a church now we are so thankful for those of you who are current leaders, especially our new leaders who jumped in and try to figure out a in a new context without a lot of answers. By the way some of you have been feeling for a while. This call to lead in some capacity and you just been putting it off.

Don't jump in right now is the time. This is a time to become a part of a movement of disciple making disciples. This is what Jesus was referring to when he said teach them to observe all things that I've commanded a disciple seeks to know love and obey God above all else, the one my favorite devotional writers.

His name is Chris Tigre.

Hey, he says worship is not part of the Christian life worship is the Christian life because everything starts with worship and flows out to worship the great commandment is that we love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and mind. A true disciple is first and foremost a worshiper of the summa church the summa church we see two important disciplines that go along with that one is a commitment to regular corporate worship with others. We do together on the weekend and the other is personal worship will like and what we call a daily quiet time and time where were you meet with God in his word and prayer is a second identity is family member. A disciple is a family member who is actively committed to our aspiring multiethnic family disciple is not just a believer disciples also belonged. The church would often say here is not just an event, you should attend. It's a community it's a family that you're supposed to belong to a family whose connection should be even closer to us than our biological families true disciple is a family member, you can be a family member. If you only moonlight on the weekend or you dial into a few podcasts I disciple not only believes disciple belongs third identity disciple is a servant, a servant disciple gladly gives of themselves for the good of others.

I disciple is one who is taken on Jesus's posture of service of the world's example 5.

In his washing the disciples feet.

Jesus on that occasion when he washed the disciples feet told them that if he who had all power in Jesus, who had all power use that power to serve the nation use whatever power position or privilege. They add also to serve for true disciple. Their whole life is to be characterized by by service number four for the identity here is Stuart Stuart, a disciple manages God's gifts for God's purposes, I disciple realizes that anything he or she has, ultimately, is given by God, not for our own purposes given to us for God's purposes and monies not euro your time and your talents and your treasures are not your own. You gave them to you for a reason and that reason was to serve his kingdom.

If you're disciple there will have been a point in your life or you said you got all these things I have are yours, how you want them to be used for for for your purposes, just like Jesus. Life is characterized by generosity just like it was characterized pouring his life for others. That's what your life will be characterized by last one witness I disciple proclaims Christ in word and deed.

Each disciple recognizes that it is his or her responsibility to make disciples for Jesus. Matthew 419 hinges and follow me make you fishermen. That means when you accepted the call to follow Jesus, you accepted the call to bring people to Jesus, there's no such thing as somebody who is following Jesus.

Sincerely and not actively attempting to bring others to you. We try to make this really practical by asking all of you to have a one that's what we say do you want as you want at least one person that you're praying for trying to build a relationship with true reaching out to an end trying to point them to Jesus. You know your oneness right. That's the essence. Those five identities of the essence what it means to be a disciple and a make a disciple means you train somebody in those five identities, so Jim 1/3 value is that we are committed to making disciples not just converts because this is the essence of the great commission. So I have quick practical questions for you today. Number 11.

Are you actually a disciple, an actual disciple limited. What I'm worried about is your pastor also not worried that most of you are to become raging atheists were that many of you will never really become an actual disciple of Jesus. If I were to ask you, are you a Christian, you might say will yeah meaning I'm not an atheist.

I nodded a Jew or a Muslim.

But if I were to then ask you, are you are you a disciple. Are you a fully committed disciple.

You might hesitate because you know disciple means more than just what you believe disciple is somebody, not merely seeking to believe what Jesus teaches, but but somebody committed to living like Jesus lift to know if you have the first Christians did not call themselves Christians. If you have a call themselves Christians was in Maine that was attached to them.

Actually it was a pejorative. It was a name that was like an attack at 1126 those are the in Antioch.

The disciples were first called Christians were called means it was passive. They can call themselves that the first Christians and call themselves Christians. It was a derogatory driver name that meant little Christ order the call themselves, we consider it there and ask kitchen. They call themselves disciples about the word Christian is only used three times in the entire New Testament door disciple was used to hundred 81.is also what. But here's what in changing the word that we use to describe ourselves. I would suggest that we lost the clarity of the word disciple conveyed about what a follower of Jesus actually is. We use the word Christian and obscure the fact that a lot of people who call themselves Christians today are not actual disciples what people say well I am a Christian because I believe in God to mount a Buddhist or a Muslim, have you surrendered your life to be like Jesus to live like Jesus. There is no such thing biblically as a Christian who is not a devoted disciple is even understand why my question is not, are you a Christian. But my question is are you a disciple be honest right now. Would you say yeah I'm a Christian, but not really of full disciple you Jesus talks about a large group of people your on the last day of and say to him warlord that we do lots of stuff in church and all kinds of doctrine and get involved in ministry to the licensor services until say hard for me. I never knew never knew you even who I was young, house on the weekends but I never knew you. He is talking there Christians aren't disciples, are you a disciple not you belong to Jesus, the good news is that you can become one today for the simple act of surrendering grilling yourself with your brand-new Christian engineering disciple maker.

Every Christian is born to remaining you're listening to Senate night and wearing a brainy teaching series called me. Even movement heard today's message and immediately thought that how how do I begin our newest resource by the same name as this teaching series will give you a starting point, you'll be able to work through the four core values and be the movement in our new study guide available today ask for your copy of this new resource when you get in touch with us right now it comes with our thanks when you donate to support this ministry.

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