When everything is said and done, the primary purpose of the church is to make disciples. Having pastored for 25 years in three different churches, and looked from the outside in, at numerous others, I have come to the conclusion that we (including myself) can easily become consumed with issues of little eternal value, and focus our energies on things that really don’t matter, rather than fulfilling our calling of making disciples.
Recently our EFC-MAYM leadership team met for a one day retreat to focus on the question, “Why am I here?” What is my purpose? Why are “we” here (EFC-MAYM Leadership Team)? What is our purpose? After considering this question personally during the morning, we returned to our “Dream Document” in the afternoon to consider our role in fostering the fulfillment of that dream.
Two of the key phrases that captured our collective attention were “neighbors” and “making disciples”. Whether it be individually, or corporately as churches, you and I ultimately have the same purpose. We are called to make disciples by first demonstrating hospitality to our “neighbors”. What does that look like in your church? What is your strategy for hospitality and disciple making? Can you identify the name of someone who has recently been “discipled” through your ministry?
These days I feel nudged and called to find ways to show hospitality to my “neighbors” with a hope of making disciples in my neighborhood. I am meeting people, getting to know names, building relationships and looking for opportunities to serve with the hope being that God could use, even me, to lead people to Jesus and into a life-giving relationship with Him.
As Dan Kimball reminded us during Ministry Conference, it all begins with hospitality. How hospitable are you to those around you? How hospitable am I? How do we need to change the way we do life in order to serve and love people on behalf of Jesus. It not only is a worthy investment of our time and resources. It is the most important use of our time and resources as followers and “Friends” of Jesus.
I have a challenge for you. Our “Dream Document” asks the question, “What if every church made at least one disciple in the next year, starting with non-disciples? (cf. Mt 28:19)“ Wouldn’t that be awesome! What is your personal strategy for making disciples? What is your church’s strategy? Why not spend some time considering this divine calling we all have been given, and make this part of our dream a reality when we meet for Ministry Conference 2021?