June Letter from the Pastor
For the last 22 months, our faith family has been endeavoring to restructure and realign ourselves with the mission of Jesus. Our orders are to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you” (The Great Commission).
Now that we have restructured our leadership team and reorganized our church to more closely resemble the New Testament church of the Bible, it is finally time for each of us to begin carrying out the mission of Jesus here in Frostburg, the surrounding areas, and throughout the world.
Some of you have already been doing this, working as forward scouts who go out and gather information and do short-term work in the field while the rest of the church prepares to launch the larger campaign. Well, the time has come for us to suit up and begin the incursion. As we line up in formation and begin to move forward into the community, here are a few brief reminders of the only way the mission will be successful:
1. Everyone must participate. Jesus has commanded ALL of us to go and make disciples. Notice, the authoritative word in the above sentence is “commanded.” He has ordered all of us to go and make disciples and this is what we must do. In fact, whether or not we follow this order is actually a sign of whether or not we are a part of his army, the church. If we do not follow his orders, then we are not obeying our commander and we are evidently not a part of His army, the church. We might go to a church and do churchy things, but if we are not doing as our commander has ordered, then we are not his followers. It’s that simple.
2. Everyone must make disciples. I know we like to think that this is why we pay the pastor, but the truth of the matter is that Jesus has commanded ALL of us to go and make disciples. For many of us, making disciples can be as scary as getting into the water for the first time when we are learning to swim. In fact, it can be downright terrifying. The great thing is…Jesus isn’t just pushing us out of the boat into water that is over our head. He has actually given us a life-preserver and an instructor who is the Holy Spirit, and he is ALWAYS with us. We never have to worry about drowning or messing up. If we simply obey his command to make disciples, all we have to do is reach out to those around us and tell them about what Jesus has done for us. Then each week, we can simply share with them what we are learning from the Bible and what we learned on Sunday with our faith family. It really is that simple, but we ALL have to do it.
3. We must make disciples who make disciples. We’ve seen first hand what happens when people stop making disciples. The church stagnates and begins to shrink and become inwardly focused. We’ve seen it in our own church and we see it happening in the churches in our community (at least 4 churches have closed their doors for good in Allegany County this year). Someone in your life helped you come to know and trust Jesus. Then they helped you further by teaching you how to obey the commands of Jesus, especially the Great Commission (see above), and now it is your turn to do the same. The great commission starts with us going and making disciples and it ends with us teaching the new disciples to obey Jesus’ commands of going and making disciples. It is a continual, reproducible action that we must begin doing now.
We say we love God and we want to see God glorified. If this is true, then this is how we do it, and it starts right here where we live, work, and play. It starts here and it starts now. Will you join us?
Your fellow disciple-maker,