I love sports.
In high school I played on five different teams—football, hockey, wrestling, rugby, and badminton. Yes, badminton! (I grew up in Canada after all). And we did something at the start of every season, on every team.
We had our level of skill assessed.
It showed us what we needed to work on and how we could get better. It always helped. At the end of a season, I even made it to the semi-finals in football one year and to the final championship in badminton another year because assessments helped me (and my teams) to get better!
I love disciple making, however, more than I love sports.
Years ago, I made the decision to trust and follow Jesus. He is my Lord, the focus of my life. I want to form my life around him; become more like him.
Jesus was a disciple maker.
It was the focus on his public ministry for over three years. And then he gave us his final command and he commissioned us to make disciples like he did. So I want to follow him.
I want to excel at making disciples.
In 1 Corinthians 9:23-25 the apostle Paul describes his effect to share the blessings of the gospel with others. He gives us a sports metaphor: “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.”
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Look at that last sentence again in light of disciple making efforts – we share the blessings of the gospel with others “to get a crown that will last forever.” Helping people to trust and follow Jesus ends up being like a victory crown in eternity. The strenuous efforts of athletics are a metaphor for our service to others as disciple makers.
Sports are great, but disciple making is better.
As skills are needed in athletics – so are skills needed in disciple making. Assessments help. This is why discipleship.org partnered with the Exponential Network to create a free online personal disciple maker assessment. It will take you 20 minutes and show your level of skill as a disciple maker. The assessment will then help you create a development plan. It will help you to get better.
When life ends we will meet Jesus, the Lord of Heaven and Earth. Part of the great victory for many who are inspired by Jesus and Paul will be him saying to us: “well done! You followed my final command, you shared the blessings of the gospel, and you helped make disciples. Come, share in your master’s happiness.”
I encourage you to take the assessment by clicking here. It will help you get ready for that great day!
Written by Bobby Harrington
Bobby Harrington is the Executive Director of Discipleship.org, a national platform, conference, and ministry that advocates for Jesus’ style of disciple making. He is the founding and lead pastor of Harpeth Christian Church (by the Harpeth River, just outside of Nashville, TN). He has a Doctor of Ministry degree in consulting and has spent years as a coach to church planters and senior pastors. He is the author of several books on discipleship, including DiscipleShift (with Jim Putman and Robert Coleman) and The Disciple Maker’s Handbook (with Josh Patrick).
Image Credit:Abigail Keenan