By Amy Page-Whiting.
“Go and make disciples of all nations.” That’s the final command of Jesus to all those who follow him, and if asked, most church leaders would say it’s the core reason we exist.
After pastoring for over ten years I had a growing sense that ‘there must be more than this.’ It wasn’t that things were going badly – they just didn’t really look like what I saw in the Gospels. I started questioning the effectiveness of what I was doing, of the things I’d been trained to do: Sunday services, establishing small groups and mechanisms for pastoral care, prayer, counsel, training leaders, funerals, weddings (plus buildings, budgets, newsletters). I was busy… but I couldn’t shake the nagging feeling that there must be more.
The clarifying moment came when I was asked two simple questions: “How are you making disciples?” and “Is it working?”
It wasn’t that it was all bad – there were highlights and moments – but I couldn’t answer that I had a specific strategy for discipleship, and the fruit of our discipleship efforts was haphazard. The fact is I didn’t know how to do it! I could organise a church service but when faced with questions about my pathways for discipleship and for equipping my people to be disciples who disciple others – I didn’t know where to start!
These questions started our church, Cashmere New Life in Christchurch, on a journey (find more about Cashmere New Life at www.cnl.org.nz). We’re learning what it means to become people who live lives worth imitating and who know how to invite others to do the same. An invaluable companion has been the resources and people from 3DM (3dmovements.com). Two years into our journey of putting discipleship front-and-centre, we’re seeing that Jesus’ command to make disciples is not only possible but revolutionary.
How are you making disciples?
Is it working?
Exploring today’s missional issues from a variety of angles, each edition of Intermission will equip you and your group to engage with God in your community and beyond. Why not take up the challenge and start using Intermission in your community? For more information or to order copies click here.
You might also be interested in these related posts:
- http://www.nzcms.org.nz/the-stories-of-those-who-come-to-us-intermission-issue-35/The stories of those who come to us (Intermission – Issue 35)Posted on by NZCMSThere is a need literally three metres outside the doors of our church. Every day hundreds of students walk past. So many […] http://www.nzcms.org.nz/the-stories-of-those-who-come-to-us-intermission-issue-35/Read more
- http://www.nzcms.org.nz/a-giving-heart-issue-33/A giving heart (Issue 33)Posted on by Mike Robb“Whatever the capacity for human suffering, the church has a greater capacity for healing and wholeness” Bill Hybels, Willow Creek Community Church A […] http://www.nzcms.org.nz/a-giving-heart-issue-33/Read more
- http://www.nzcms.org.nz/were-all-called-to-give-issue-33/We’re All Called to Give (Issue 33)Posted on by JoA wealthy businessman had just gone through a heart-wrenching divorce. Burnt out and broken, he went along to a church to try finding […] http://www.nzcms.org.nz/were-all-called-to-give-issue-33/Read more
- http://www.nzcms.org.nz/when-prayer-meets-calling-issue-32/When Prayer Meets Calling (Issue 32)Posted on by Steve MainaBy Steve Maina (NZCMS National Director) I remember it clearly. Floating above the earth, glancing down at the world, wondering where I’d […] http://www.nzcms.org.nz/when-prayer-meets-calling-issue-32/Read more