Sunday, May 11, 2008

Evangelism vs. Discipleship?

As I was worshiping in a local church the pastor announced that he longed for the day when he baptized people every Sunday. My immediate thought was, is there water in the baptistry? After all, if one longs for the day for it to happen it seems to me that he should be ready for that to happen.

I suppose that some churches just are not reaching people for the kingdom of God because they are not yet prepared. They really do not expect it to happen and are not doing everything on their end to be prepared for it to happen.

However, no sooner had the thought come into my mind than another followed. The Spirit raised another question in my mind and heart. Why would the Father allow a church to baptize people into the kingdom if they were unwilling or unprepared to disciple them? Ouch!

You see, I don't believe that our calling is simply to make converts and baptize them. I believe we have a responsibility to help them grow in their relationship with the Lord. And, if we are unwilling to do that why would God ever allow us the joy of seeing others come to know Christ?

Needless to say, the Father has been speaking to me a lot lately about discipleship. Today He showed me that evangelism and discipleship cannot be separated. They go hand-in-hand. If we have a responsibility to share the good news we also have the responsibility to disciple those whom we lead to Jesus. My prayer is that I'll have ample opportunities to share Christ and lead others in discipleship, to grow in their relationship with God.

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