When you think of church outreach do you also think about discipleship? Isn’t that the point of the Great Commission as outlined in Matthew 28? “Go, therefore, 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 observe everything I have commanded you.” Furthermore, this strategy was put into place in Acts 1:8 when Jesus tells his disciples to begin in Jerusalem then go to Judea and Samaria and then to the ends of the earth. This sounds like a lot of praying, planning, walking, putting yourself out there, talking, meeting practical and basic needs, laughing, crying, worshiping and ultimately forging connections to only be stronger in repeating the process… exactly like outreach and discipleship.
Ultimately, discipleship is an important part of our outreach and who we are as disciples because:
- We want people to become fully committed followers of Christ
- It helps believers to grow in their faith, to grow in maturity and wisdom
- It builds their faith on a strong foundation so that they can then disciple and lead others towards Christ
There are a few things to take away from the above two passages of Scripture as it relates to outreach and discipleship, that the Ministry Guide, Gearing Up For Fall Outreach succinctly details. The bottom line is this – as disciples, we are commanded to GO and make more disciples! I think it’s easy to forget that we are all disciples. When was the last time you looked in the mirror and thought about being a full-fledged disciple (not only a Christian, spouse, parent, sibling, employee, friend, small group leader, Sunday School Teacher, greeter and/or church parking lot attendant, etc.) and how you were going to spread a little bit of your faith so others will know to see Jesus as you do? I have to think that as we personalize the discipleship role that we are called to actively be, it will make all the difference in our daily routines which will then impact our church outreach efforts to cultivate more disciples.
On the other hand, disciples who refuse to pursue evangelism, outreach and discipleship are simply not following through with what God has commanded. There’s no if, ands, or buts about it. If we aren’t living out evangelism, outreach and discipleship in our churches, growth will not occur. And who wants to be in that camp? Not me and I believe you don’t want that either. So let’s commit to helping lead others to Christ not only by our words but also our actions and remember that they reflect Christ, and create a true sense of community and relationship along our way. So be it.
Outreach can be fun and challenging. It’s my sincere hope that you are encouraged as a disciple to be a disciple. Building the Kingdom starts at home with our individual hearts and posture. I believe people and technology can work together to make an eternal impact, so I’ll continue to seek out and reference top expert advice for best practices to benefit your ministry in practical ways, grow your church and deepen discipleship.
Dean is ACS Technologies’ VP of Corporate Operations. He is responsible for Information Technology and all campus facilities. Born and raised in South Carolina, He has a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems Management. He serves on the board and in leadership for a few local non-profit organizations. His passions include helping others succeed.
This blog references the new helpful Ministry Resource on proven best practices in Gearing Up For Fall Outreach which is part 3 of this 4 part Gearing Up For Fall Ministry Guide series. It is available now to you for free as an easy download to read and share. And, to make it even easier and so you don’t miss any of our Church Growth Resources, you can also receive our ministry blog posts straight to your inbox!