From Craig Swanson…
After the resurrection of Jesus, He chose to return to the Father and leave the future of His church (His bride) in the hands of fallen men. Not sounding so ingenious yet. But He left us with a couple of things – His Spirit abiding with us (a game changer) and a mission. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matt. 28: 19, 20)
These are marching orders for the church. If you are a saved child of God, they are a command to you. We live in a day when the church is filled with false teachers, the average church-goer knows little of the Word of God and the kids of church families are walking away from the faith after college at a rate of 3 out of 4. I have to believe that the reason for these things is that we are not following the plan.
The plan is very simple. Go and make disciples. Literally, go and make learners. Maybe part of what we stumble over is that it’s too simple. There have been many times in my life when I wish there were more specifics to the plan. Give me some details. But the simplicity is part of the ingeniousness. It works in any age and in any culture. All it requires of us is to find someone to teach and teach them. Teach them what? – All that He commanded. (We shouldn’t run out of material)
Here is the heart of the genius of the plan. It requires all of us to be teachers. Not necessarily public teaching or having the spiritual gift of teaching, but all of us are to be teaching someone. That requires that all of us are to be actively learning. If we are following God’s master plan, we have to be stretching ourselves spiritually so that we can be stretching others.
So here is my challenge to you – no, here is Jesus’ challenge to you – find a learner and teach them. Or, if you’re young in your faith, find a teacher and learn – but get involved in the process. It is your calling. This will require that you build a relationship with someone. (This is another part of the ingeniousness of the plan.)
So what does this process look like? It will look differently for everyone, but it should include accountability, encouragement, and the study of the Word and doctrine. A good resource that I have found is called “Drive-by Theology”. You can find it at WretchedRadio.com. It is 15 minute audio segments talking about things like:
- The sufficiency of the Word
- The inerrancy of the Word
- Attributes of God
- The Trinity
- The doctrines of Christ
- The doctrine of future things
- The church
There are 48 lessons in total. I’m using this with some guys I’m working with. We listen to a couple of sessions on our own, and when we get together we talk and catch up on each other’s lives and then talk about what we’re learning. It’s simple, but I assure you, it’s a learning and stretching process for all parties involved. And when you feel like things aren’t going like they should, remember, God Himself promised to be with us always. Just be faithful and He will do the heart work.
This process is not without time and frustration. So why should you do it? First and foremost, God told us to. It will strengthen your walk with God. It will strengthen your relationship with other believers. It will strengthen our church. So go!