Is it Evangelism or Discipleship?

July 14, 2021

19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:19-20

Written by Reid Hughes from the Station Hill Campus

Have you felt God was leading you to a certain activity that was out of your comfort zone? Is it a task that brings anxiety, and you believe there is no way you can accomplish what it demands? For many of us, sharing the gospel can be that task. Whether it is through personal uneasiness or not knowing exactly the correct words to say, we feel the burden to obey the Lord, but fear keeps us from believing this is something we can do.

This passage, known as the “Great Commission,” calls believers to comply with the command of Jesus Himself. But is Jesus placing all the responsibility on us? Are we to go and make disciples, baptize them, and teach them all of Jesus’ commandments? I already feel the weight of responsibility pulling me down. Do you?

Jesus only gave one imperative command here: make disciples. The phrase comes from the Greek word matheteuso, which gives the idea of a person who attaches himself to another to follow their example and teachings. You may have attached yourself to an author or speaker who holds views that are important to you.

It is interesting that Jesus says we are to make disciples “as we are going.” What? The word going has the idea of continual movement, not of just one specific event. It applies to how we are living life day by day. Going is one of the three actions needed to accomplish the command of making disciples. The other actions are baptizing and teaching.

The baptizing Jesus speaks of here is not one of submersion, but one of identity. In becoming a disciple of Jesus, we are identified with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Our very being has become connected to God through His Son by the empowering of His Spirit.

The last action supporting our making disciples is teaching. This action has the idea of mentoring. We should not only tell new disciples what Jesus taught, but also everything we have learned from Christ. Making disciples becomes a process of lost people seeing Christ in us and learning that their identity is found in the person of Christ. We are then to mentor them with all Jesus has taught us.

So, does that put all the burden of responsibility on us for their salvation? No, not all.

Jesus told us He is with us always. He is our constant companion, mentor and teacher. He will guide us and live His life in and through us, so that this life can be passed along to those He gives us to disciple.

Questions to Ask Yourself

  1. How do you approach evangelism? Is your approach one of telling or showing or both?
  2. Do you consider evangelism to be a scheduled activity or a lifestyle of living the Christ life?
  3. Ask God to live His life in and through you in order to reach the lost people all around you.