This statement may shock you: it is possible to be a church, and not be on mission with Jesus Christ. One would like to think that every church is aligned with the mission of Jesus, but the sad reality is that many are not. Let me go a step further and say that a church that is not on mission with Jesus is not necessarily a “bad” church. More than likely, it is simply a misled church. It is a church that has lost the vision that Christ gave us two thousand years ago.
A church that is not on mission with Jesus is a church that is not making disciples. They may be putting a lot of effort into a host of activities, but that doesn’t mean they are making disciples. I once heard someone say, “An active church isn’t always a productive church.” So true!
Church leaders need to be sure they know what a disciple looks like when one has been made. If we are called to make disciples, we have to know what disciples look like. Once you know what a disciple looks like, you can then begin to evaluate whether or not you are actually making them.
In case you are wondering, you don’t have to define what a disciple looks like. Jesus already has! In Luke 6:40, Jesus said, “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.” You hit the target when you make disciples that have the character and conduct of Jesus.
Some churches are making worshippers. Some churches are making theologians. Some churches are making servants. Some churches are making financial managers. Some churches are making evangelists. Some churches are making leaders. None of these things are bad things as long as they are a part of a whole. If these things are part of becoming a disciple, then they are great. If they are a substitute for a “fully trained” disciple, then that falls short of the mission Jesus called us to fulfill.
Impact Ministries exists to help Christians and churches be and build disciples of Jesus Christ. If we can help you or your church establish a movement of disciple making please contact us at impactdisciples.com. We would also like to offer you a free resource called “Thirty Days that Could Change Your Church.” Let us know you read this blog and we will send you a free copy.