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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Bassackwards

Acts 11:26 tells us that those who were first called Christians were first disciples.  The Great Commission, Matthew 28:18 – 20, tells us that as believers we are supposed to go and make disciples.  So that connection between Matthew 28:18 – 20 and Acts 11:26 seems to make sense, the early church was doing what Christ commanded, making disciples.  I will not repeat the series on discipleship, but it seems that some time between Acts 11 and last week, we may have gotten a bit confused on what we are supposed to be doing.
If the disciples were called Christians, shouldn't we be interested in making disciples if we want more Christians?
The Church seems to be counting converts, teaching them to be consumers of “Christian” stuff, and then at some point in the process attempting to take them through a program that may turn some of them into disciples.  But according to Rainer in Breakout Churches, not many churches have defined what a disciple is and therefore are validating the old adage, “when you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time.”

Matthew 28:18 – 20 does not say we are supposed to make converts – I checked the Greek.  It does say we are supposed to make disciples.  That raises a number of questions for which I do not have good answers.
  • Is it right to expect people who are not disciples to respond as disciples when you share what Christ said to His disciples with them?
  • Should we be more interested in making disciples in our churches rather than making converts?
  • Is it right to expect Christ to treat us as a disciple, when we aren’t?
  • Do the things that Christ said and promised to His disciples apply to those who are not His disciples?
It seems to me that we may have some things backwards.

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