In a way, anything and everything a Church does should, somehow, make disciples of Jesus. But, in addition to the foundational elements of discipleship inherent in all we do, most churches also land on and implement some specific strategy to intentionally move them forward on this mission.
The BCM/D has identified two overarching strategies: Program/Class strategies and Relational strategies. As you follow the links in the sidebar under "Ministry Resources" you’ll find help in both of these areas.
“Since you’re going anyway, make disciples…” That’s how one commentator suggested Matthew 28:19 might read.
Hmmm: since you’re going anyway! I have never seen a more “going anyway” slice of the globe than the one we call home; the Mid-Atlantic. It seems everyone is “going anyway.” They’re going to work, going home. They’re going to a restaurant or to the bank or to the soccer field or to the Yard or to a concert or to a coffee shop or to…. Always, going. ‘Going’ is almost mindless here – just something you have to do. But, for those of us who follow the Christ ‘going’ is anything but mindless. For us it is an opportunity to make disciples of Jesus.
A disciple, many contemporary translations confirm, is a learner. However, the 20th and 21st century have so shaped our definition of that word that it is hard for us to see the greater challenge. A learner, as the word was used, was not someone who merely sat in a row, listened to a lecture, took legible and comprehensible notes, and passed a content exam. No, a learner was more like an apprentice, submitted to the skillful hands of a master craftsman; or like a child who loved & admired his/her parent, and embraced the DNA that came through them.
Eugene Peterson captured this idea with his paraphrase, “Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life…” Making disciples has to do with fully equipping people for a brand new way of living! Jesus further commented, “Teach them to obey everything I have taught…”
One author has challenged the Church to be careful with the phrase “Great Commission.” His fear is that congregants will say, “Well, I may be adequate, but I’m certainly not great. Maybe this work should be left to the professionals.” Jesus didn’t call these words a ‘great’ commission. Many think He might have preferred an “everyday commission”… since you’re going anyway!