Vision | Devotion #5: “People Teaching”
As I used to walk down the streets of Savannah, I would look around and recognize the beauty of everything that God had made. Savannah was a beautiful city, and our family would go on a regular basis when we lived in Georgia. I would walk and look around and also see God’s beautiful creation in people. We love to people watch. I would get my favorite ice cream, Moose Tracks, and sit down and watch people. There is beauty in the creation of people. To be able to see all the different skin colors, tall and short, dark hair or light hair is inspiring. As I recognize the beauty of God’s creation, I have to remember that God gave me a mission.
As I have grown in my relationship with Jesus Christ, I recognize that it can not stop there. I am always learning and always looking for ways to get closer to the Lord. But as much as we all think that is important, it is still not our mission.
Matthew 28:18-20 says, “And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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 all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’”
I want to point out a very specific phrase that Jesus uses in this conversation with those around him, “make disciples.” What does it mean to make disciples? To be a disciple literally means to be “a learner.” This means that you have learned and grown in your relationship with Jesus or became a disciple, and now you need to go out and make more learners, or disciples. The cycle of Reach, Gather, and Grow does not stop at Grow. This cycle does not say that we have now made it and we can now stop, stand still, or even coast by with what we know.
So what does this look like in our ordinary life? This means that we have to stop “people watching” and instead go and do some “people teaching.” Now do not get scared. I know I used a word that many do not like, teaching. This does not mean you actually have to teach a class. This means that you are making learners around you. It means you are teaching other people around you what it means to love Jesus, what it means for Jesus to love you. This can be done through our words, actions, and efforts. This means we make an effort to reach out to people and invite them to gatherings so that they can re-start the cycle of Reach, Gather, and Grow.