Discipleship Equals Life
Over the past week I have had the opportunity to visit a few areas in Arkansas with several friends that I go to school with, Taylor Tollison led the group of students to many different parts of his home state, Arkansas. After spending several days and meeting with many different people and learning many different things about being a follower of Christ I had many different take aways, but there was one take away that really stuck out to me. That take away was to make disciples. Now I know that many within the Campus Outreach ministry will roll their eyes at this and go “duh”. I know that every Christian that is a apart of any discipleship group (or small group) know that this is what they are called to do. I know that anyone who has heard an emotional sermon on the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20) know that this is what they are called to do as well. But even with all the conferences that I’ve attended, all of the different Campus Outreach events I was apart of, and even being led, for four years, by a guy who is committed to this very goal of disciple making I was still struck when I reached the realization that disciple-making is what my life is all about.
Before the trip if you were to ask me what my life vision was I would have definitely said to make disciples. This has been something that I have thought about for a while and even though I am not very good at it I am still sold to this very idea. Now while this is all very fine and dandy there is still one very important question that really hits home on this idea of the Great Commission. That being how are you going to make disciples? I may have been sold out to the idea but how can this idea be accomplished. This is a very good question one that I probably couldn’t have given a very good answer prior to the Arkansas trip.
So what was it about Arkansas that God used to open my eyes to this art of disciple-making? After five days of driving around the state of Arkansas, meeting several different people in all different sorts of life and seeing many of them actually making great attempts at sharing their faith and pursuing the Great Commission I really began to see that disciple-making is a life style. It’s not about going to church, or how much Bible reading you do, or the amount of Scripture you memorize it is all about your life. I’ve always heard the term life-on-life and I thought it was another cheesy cliché that had no value or meaning, but I was wrong. Life-on-life is exactly how Christ made disciples. Jesus told them to follow Him and they will become fishers of men. It is crazy to think that Jesus never took them through different Christian books or had them memorize Scripture or even made them attend church. Jesus spent His life with them. He brought the disciples around to look at his life, to see how he shared his faith, to see how he loved people, to see what it meant to love God with all your heart and soul. The disciples got to experience so much more than a program, they got to see and experience the life of Christ.
Spending the week at Arkansas I got to see what that meant and what it looked liked to go out and make disciples. I got to see it from real imperfect men who knew they messed up but knew that they had to continue to pursue the Great Commission. Seeing these people’s lives opened my eyes to see that the Christian life is not about compartmentalizing everything into little blocks and pieces, but the Christian life is about living. There is no such thing as spiritual work and secular work it is all for God and His Kingdom. I got to see discipleship in a practical light, I saw that discipleship is about being committed to living life in a godly manner worthy to be followed, exalting the Father and pushing men to the Savior through the Spirit. I am very grateful for the time I spent in Arkansas. It was refreshing to get to see others living for the King that I so desire to serve. I am also so very grateful for the picture that most of them set before me, by their lives. These are far from perfect men, but they are lovers of God and they are seeking to go and make disciples, which is what all Christians should be striving to do.