Perhaps we’ve somehow made fulfilling the Great Commission too hard? Too complicated? Too institutional? Perhaps we don’t see our individual responsibility as followers of Jesus to make disciples? Perhaps we are not noticing all the people around us who are searching for God but have not found him in the church building on Sunday? Perhaps we have relied too much on a telling approach that appears transactional and prescriptive to many around us?
Jesus reminds us in John 17:18, “As you [the Father] sent me into the world, I have sent them [believers] into the world” (emphasis added). We have been sent. Are we willing to go? I love The Message’s paraphrase of this same verse: In the same way that you gave me a mission in the world, I give them a mission in the world.” It’s not just paid professionals. We all have a mission to make new disciples. It’s like in Isaiah 6:8, where Isaiah describes hearing God ask the question: “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” Isaiah said in response, “Here am I. Send me.”
Are you willing to be sent?
Everyone assumes that someone else will do it, but Jesus sent you on a mission to the world. His commission to make new disciples has your name written all over it. And he has shown you how to walk the way, modeling how simple it is. As simple as giving someone a cold cup of water.
Jesus sent his disciples–and you and me–out into ministry with these words:
This is a large work I’ve called you into, but don’t be overwhelmed by it. It’s best to start small. Give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty, for instance. The smallest act of giving or receiving makes you a true apprentice. You won’t lose out on a thing.
~ Matthew 10:42, The Message
A little bit at a time
We all have a chance to bring the Kingdom of God into this sinful world. It is a Kingdom of love, and we’re part of it through our relationship with Christ and through his life in us. We’ll be able to share it a little bit at a time by noticing, praying, listening, asking questions, loving, and welcoming.
And we have to start.
As Matthew West’s song “Do Something” reminds us, “If not us, then who? . . . If not now, then when?”
Giving people continual, steady sips of grace and truth can help the spiritual seeker and skeptic build a solid foundation of faith to explore.
President of Q Place
Adapted from the book she co-authored, The 9 Arts of Spiritual Conversations, ©2016, Tyndale House Publishers