The moment you begin to believe that your church can be healthy while you sit on the sidelines, you have given up on God’s plan of redemption.
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Yet God has supplied us with everything we need in order to fulfill His calling. The power to transform hearts and change lives comes from the Holy Spirit (John 6:63), through the Word of God (2 Tim. 3:16–17), and through prayer (James 5:16–20). As we use the Scriptures to give counsel to others, there is power (Heb. 4:12). As we pray passionately for their hearts to change, there is power. We cannot remove the lust from another’s person’s heart by our own efforts, but we have the Spirit of God working through us. Through the gospel, people can be set free from the enslaving power of sin (Rom. 6). Through the gospel, we are actually empowered to uproot the sin in our hearts and live in a way that pleases God (Gal. 5 and Rom. 8). Paul promised: “If by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live” (Rom. 8:13).
Reading through the New Testament, it’s not surprising to read that Jesus’s followers were focused on making disciples—it makes sense in light of Jesus’s ministry and the Great Commission. The surprise comes when we look at our churches today in light of Jesus’s command to make disciples.
Why is it that we see so little disciple making taking place in the church today? Do we really believe that Jesus told His early followers to make disciples but wants the twenty-first-century church to do something different? None of us would claim to believe this, but somehow we have created a church culture where the paid ministers do the “ministry,” and the rest of us show up, put some money in the plate, and leave feeling inspired or “fed.” We have moved so far away from Jesus’s command that many Christians don’t have a frame of reference for what disciple making looks like.
Multiply page 30 by Francis Chan