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Evangelism Clouds the Great Commission … and How to Fix It

Do we always baptize? No, but when we do, we party like it’s 1999 (for the glory of God, of course), and we continue to walk with our new brother or sister in Christ. We have a responsibility, but the responsibility is not to evangelize and baptize the world. Evangelism and baptism will flow from fulfilling the ultimate mission: making disciples. The responsibility we have is to be Jesus and show the character and nature of God to every person we encounter.

But this presents a problem for many people. I can feel the tension the previous few paragraphs have created as you read. Tension is good. Let’s keep going. The next point builds on the first.

2) Be intentional.

Remember we now live in a culture where people are not walking into our doors every Sunday asking us if we will tell them about Jesus. Before the rise of the Millennials, discipleship predominantly played itself out inside the church building. People were coming to the church building because they were broken and looking for something. If you invited somebody to come to worship on Sunday, the response was favorable. Programs and activities were geared toward bringing people to the building because Christianity stood at the center of the culture.

In 2014, the game has changed. Christianity is on the periphery of culture now. Yes, there are exceptions, but generally speaking, people are not beating down the doors of our building and they are not overly receptive to attending a worship service with us. But there is something that has not changed … people are still broken and looking for something.

As long as we are living in this world, there will be people who are broken and looking for something to fill the void.

So, how do we step into the brokenness of people’s lives in 2014? One word: intentionality. From the moment we open our eyes in the morning, we put on the lenses of Jesus, and we move through our day with the lenses on. There is NEVER a moment where we put down our guard. Every conversation, every relationship, every encounter, every email, every text message and every social media post is an opportunity for us to show God to other people. Without intentionality, our jobs, marriages, relationships, etc. terminate on themselves. We view our job as a means to make money. We use our time at the ball field as an opportunity to watch our children or spouse. When we allow our days to terminate on themselves, making disciples is impossible.

Which brings us to point 3.

3) Weave gospel threads.

This idea was first brought to my attention by David Platt when I went to Secret Church a few months ago. He made a statement that resonated with me and has forced me to rethink how discipleship works itself out in my daily life:

Many Christians say they believe in God but speak about their jobs, marriages, successes, failures, etc. like an atheist.

Here is what he meant. If God is actually present and active in our lives every day, why are we not talking about Him? Why are we not attributing our successes to Him? Why are we not mentioning God in our conversations? Is it not true that everything we are and every situation we find ourselves in is solely a result of God working in and through us? We need to make God’s name and character known to a world that is looking for something. Why would our co-workers, school mates, etc. be drawn to God if we never mention Him in our conversations?

This is what I believe making disciples looks like in 2014. We weave gospel threads into every situation and every conversation. We find opportunities to give God glory for what is happening in our lives. We talk about the sustaining presence and power of God during difficult times. We don’t leave other people to guess who is at the center of our lives.

When we go eat at restaurants, we pray for our waiters/waitresses. When we go to coffee shops, we look for opportunities to mention Jesus in conversation. At our place of work, we mention the name of Jesus as often as possible. Not because we are trying to give off some “holier than thou” persona, but because we acknowledge God is our source of strength, our reason for existence, our creator, our sustainer, our provider, our source of comfort during hard times, and the reason for our joy, peace, hope. We can’t help but speak about Him!

The more gospel threads we weave in our lives, the more opportunities we will have to share Jesus directly with other people. The more opportunities we will have to directly step into the brokenness of the world and be the restorers God has saved us to be. People are still looking for something, and when they see that we have that “something,” they will eventually come asking.


I love you all. To God be the glory forever. Amen!