The Great Commission; Program or Lifestyle?

I had recently put on my "to-do" list a reminder to enlist some outreach teams and to get our secretary prepare a list of recent visitors to the church.  The plan was to set up a weekly outreach to follow-up on recent guests in our services.  As I prepared to do this, there was a nagging thought in the back of my mind trying to wedge its way to the front.  That thought was one that I have had for years, but had pushed back into the netherworld of my brain simply because it did not mesh with the prevailing trend among evangelical churches.  Let me share my thought for your perusal and hopefully for your response.
The Great Commission (Matt. 28:19-20) was never designed to be a program, but was to typify the lifestyle of all Christ followers.  Simply put it means that each of us who follows Christ will, as we are going about, are to be in the process of making disciples.  Making disciples begins with sharing the gospel and giving people an opportunity to accept the free gift of eternal life availale through Jesus Christ.  Then it proceeds to teaching those who respond all that we have learned about being a Christ follower.  This can be done formally by setting up a regular time to get together for Bible Study and prayer, or informally by taking advantage of every chance meeting to impart what we are learning about being a disciple.  In order to build this into my life-style, I must...

  • Spend time daily in personal Bible Study and prayer.
  • Be obedient to the truth I'm exposed to in reading God's Word and praying.
  • Ask for "divine appointments".  These are set up by the Holy Spirit.
  • Be open to the leadership of the Holy Spirit to turn aside from my daily activity to spend time with one whom He has prepared to be open to the Good News.
  • Keep my "story" (testimony) fresh and up-to-date so that I can share it naturally in conversation.
When a church teaches and trains members to become lifestyle disciple makers, there is no need for a formal program.  The fulfillment of the Great Commission by individual members will result in the fulfillment of the Great Commission by the corporate church.  The fruit will remain and that fruit will in turn produce fruit.
What do you think?


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