In Matthew 28:18, we see Jesus tell His disciples “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples…”; He essentially says, “I’m in charge, so here’s what I want you to do. Make disciples!”; I continue to wrestle with this call to make disciples of Jesus. How do I do this in an age where people are more divided, less biblically literate, more
isolated and less trusting of Christianity?
In my own life, there seems to be two major obstacles that routinely come up. Additionally, these roadblocks regularly show up in our work in CSF to see UIS and LLCC students mobilized to be disciples who make disciples. Part of the reason I am not obedient to Jesus’; call to make disciples is that I haven’t trained to do so.
This isn’t to say that I haven’;t had wonderful Christian mentors. It’s simply that for most of my life, intentionally sharing faith with others wasn’t prioritized. I know my story isn’t unique because every year I meet students in the same boat. Because of this, in CSF we’ve started routinely offering Gospel sharing training sessions. In these times we work together to articulate the truths of scripture and then talk about how to engage with people in a way that doesn’t shy away from the truth but also builds trust and develops sustained relationships.
It has been so encouraging! Students often say, “I never knew how to share my faith, but now (even though it’s
a little scary to do so) I feel like I can actually have these conversations with my friends!”; I confess it has been so good for me as well!
Though training is important, if I’m perfectly honest, I feel when reading this passage God is challenging me that there’s something deeper that is my biggest roadblock for me actually doing what Jesus says. I think the good news of Jesus is remarkable, and I believe Jesus is Lord and Savior. So, I want to follow Him and do what He says – including making disciples. But, honestly, I’m afraid of rejection. I’m afraid of sounding or looking dumb. I’m afraid of not having all the answers. You hear the common denominator?
I don’t do anything. Primarily because I’m afraid. Isn’t it amazing how fear can come up with= some great rationalizations when the reality is it’s masking disobedience? Especially when what God is calling me to could be something that’s as simple as starting a conversation with a friend. Maybe for you it’s a coworker or neighbor.
When we’re willing to push through our fears, God seems to work supernaturally. One of our CSF student leaders came to faith because someone was bold enough to share faith with him. Who might God want to reach through us?
So may we in grace, as followers of Jesus choose to face our fears for the sake of His Kingdom. May we choose to grow in our understanding of His Good News. And may we prepare to be amazed by how He works as we follow Him in His call for us to be disciples who make disciples.
Director – Christian Student Fellowship at UIS & LLCC