Much has been made of the importance of a person’s last words. And we all know Jesus’ last words in Matthew 28, the Great Commission.
Generations of disciples were at the heart of Jesus’ plan. The only way such a plan can work is for each generation to disciple the next. That is why Jesus’ parting words were,
Make disciples of all nations and teach them to obey everything I taught you. (Matthew 28:20)
It is not enough to preach the gospel to all nations. It is not enough that we evangelize people. Those who believe must also be taught to obey all that Christ has taught.
The people whom the 12 evangelized and discipled were every bit as strategic to the progress of the Gospel as the original disciples were. These 2nd generation believers were the insiders to their communities, who had natural connections with families, society, and the workplace. They were “the locals.” As such, they were positioned to take the Gospel into the corners and back alleys of their society, something the Apostles could not do.
Each one of us is uniquely connected to a network of lost people who constitute our calling. We can be like the 12 were at first: blind to the people around us. Or we can become what they became: equipped and empowered disciples sent by God to those who have not yet heard the Good News. If the Gospel is truly to penetrate a place, it will be through the people Jesus calls to be the salt and light.
Plowing the ground to prepare the soil is the first step. Sowing good seed is second. And then intentional discipling comes next. So pay attention. Jesus’ last words were not to plow or to sow, but to disciple. To reproduce our lives in others.
This is the assignment of a disciple – reproduction.
PATRICK LAI and his family have worked in SE Asia for over 37 years. His experience in doing business with Jesus has brought him to understand the meaning of work and worship in the marketplace. He started 14 businesses in four countries, six of which are still operating. Patrick and his wife, May, mentor and coach businesspeople working where there are few or no Christians. Check out Patrick’s latest book, Workship, now available in paperback and e-book.