Be a Kingdom disciple? Isn’t it hard enough just being an “ordinary” disciple of Jesus?
According to Matthew 28, discipleship involves:
1. Baptizing. We might call it “introducing people to Jesus.” One reason Jesus might have talked about baptism is this: baptism is a rite of the church. Making disciples refers to the work of the church. That means it is part of your work, part of the educational ministry of your church. How would you evaluate your outward focus?
2. Teaching. At creation God gave what is called the “cultural mandate” (Genesis 1:28-30). That has never been abrogated. And the implications are broad. That’s where Kingdom discipleship comes in. As followers of the King we are to take the values of the Kingdom wherever we go. What are those values? They are derived directly and indirectly from Scripture.
At the church where I serve, middle- and high-schoolers are getting another introduction to the Westminster Shorter Catechism. That is combined with a study of Nancy Pearcey’s Total Truth for high-schoolers. Part of the challenge is offering a Christian foundation that will prepare them for the secular university and, beyond that, living in an alien society.
Ask yourself: what does it mean for your children and young people to take the values of the Kingdom to their school? To have them reflected in their relationships? The same kind of questions should be raised with adults. Your next question is: how do we effectively communicate Kingdom values in our churches?
3. Teaching – to the end that we will obey. Christianity is much more than a philosophical system. It’s a way of life centered on a relationship to the person of Jesus. Using words from the Old Testament, Jesus summarized the law this way: love God and love your neighbor. Paul simply says, “love your neighbor.” And John reminds us that if we can’t love those we can see, how can we love God who we can’t see?
It doesn’t take much thought to realize that his command is impossible. Individually most of us are miserable failures. Consequently as instructors, we can easily come off as hypocritical. So what makes it worth the effort? Jesus tells us that He has the power. And His promise to fumbling, stumbling people like us is, “I will be with you always.” And His presence is life changing.
With that confidence we can take up our Lord’s challenge to be disciples and to make disciples. We can even work at becoming Kingdom disciples because He has the power and He is with us. Does that give you another level of confidence or what?