Today a friend said to me, “Brian, you should wash your truck.”
My response: “What’s the point?”
I admit that my truck is a mess. But here’s the rub – our city is currently rebuilding a long stretch of road that leads to my house, and all the dirt I wash off my vehicle will just be restored hours later. So, as I reasoned when I was a child, Why bathe if I will get dirty again so soon?
Homeowners near and far cheered when the process began and the earth below our lunar-like pathway was laid bare. For years the road across this fairly flat stretch of earth has driven like a roller coaster, with alternating patterns of yawning caverns waiting to swallow smart cars and their not so smart drivers. We were happy at first, but now we have grown sad and impatient. So far all we have seen is a small crew scraping dirt, then adding dirt, then scraping dirt, then adding dirt. So much activity, but so little progress. Do they really know how to build a road, or do they just know how to scrape the dirt? As we sit in long lines with dust swirling around us, we wonder if perhaps someone, somewhere has lost sight of the big idea. “Your mission, O road-building crew, is to build roads, not just to scrape the dirt! Build! Build! Fulfill your mission!”
What about us, Church? Do we know how to build roads or just scrape the dirt? Do we remember our mission? Our road to build is called the Great Commission. We are the only crew. We are the only hope the world has to discover and travel the road to life with God.
Jesus’ final words are famous words…and easily forgotten words. We drift toward producing great amounts of activity, while making little progress toward fulfilling our mission from Jesus. He said, “…as you are going, make disciples of all nations, teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you.” His exhortation assumed that we would get going and keep moving. His exhortation assumed that we would pursue the lost around us. His exhortation assumed that we would learn, from the Spirit and from one another, what to do and how to get it done.
So challenge yourself. Do you know what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ? Do you know how to make disciples who make disciples who make disciples? Do you know how to invest your life in another life, so that together you learn to more deeply love Jesus and serve His kingdom?
Church, let’s get moving! Here are a few resources written to point you in the right direction, to fan the flames of your passion and to grow the skill in you to fulfill your mission in life:
The Lost Art of Disciple-Making by Leroy Eims
The Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert Coleman
The Great Omission by Robertson McQuilkin
To the Golden Shore: The Life of Adoniram Judson by Courtney Anderson
Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret by Dr. and Mrs. Howard Taylor
Shadow of the Almighty by Elisabeth Elliot