Have you ever asked yourself, “Why is it so important that we be and make disciples of Jesus? Can’t we just believe in Him and invite others to believe in Him so they can go to heaven when they die?”
I currently don’t work full-time as a pastor. I am a church planter who works full-time as a night-shift supervisor at a factory. The two professions are actually very similar if done correctly. In both cases, the job is to lead people to work together to create something bigger than themselves. In both cases I don’t just tell people what to do, I need to listen to them and communicate clearly with them about what is expected of them.
One of the most important things I do as a supervisor is to explain to people why we are doing what we are doing. I have found when people understand the ‘why’ behind the ‘what,’ they are more likely to fully invest and work together as a team to accomplish the production goals set in front of them. When I take the time to explain the thought processes behind our production plan, people feel invited to have a conversation about the process. Even if after it is all said and done, we follow a different plan than they would have devised, they understand why we are doing what we are doing and they feel heard and appreciated.
Growing up in the church, I had a lot of questions about the ‘why’ behind the ‘what’ we were doing. Unfortunately, I never got very good answers to my questions or was I invited into a conversation that would explain the ‘why’ behind the ‘what’ we were doing. Instead, it seemed more like we were doing it because it was what had been done before.
When I discovered relational discipleship in seminary, I finally felt like I understood ‘what’ we were supposed to be doing. I was so excited to understand the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ that I didn’t worry about the ‘why’ at first. However, as I attempted to spread the message about relational discipleship, I realized that I wasn’t able to explain adequately ‘why’ we should focus on being and making disciples of Jesus in relational environments.
However, as I dug deeper into disciple making, I realized that both Scripture and historical Christianity clearly taught ‘why’ we are to focus on being and making disciples of Jesus. Around this same time, I began to partner with Discipleship.org and they published a short book with me that explains ‘why’ we are to imitate and obey Jesus as His disciples. The book is Recreated to Be Like God: Making Disciples in the Image of Jesus.
At Discipleship.org we really want to help Christians and churches be successful at making disciples of Jesus. To that end, we want to do everything we can to not only help you know ‘how’ to make disciples, but ‘why’ we are to make disciples. Just like with the people I lead in the factory, I have found that when you explain to Christians ‘why’ they are supposed to be and make disciples of Jesus they are more likely to fully invest in the ‘how’ of disciple making.
One of the cool new applications of ‘AI’ (Artificial Intelligence) is the ability to convert written text into spoken words. In our ongoing quest to help you understand and explain the ‘why’ behind being and making disciples of Jesus, Discipleship.org, by way of AI, is converting the full text of Recreated to Be Like God: Making Disciples in the Image of Jesus into an audiobook and is making the audiobook version available to you, for free! Click here to download or listen now.