Before His ascension to heaven, Jesus Christ gave the commandment to his disciples to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations, teaching them to observe all that he had commanded. During two millenaries this was the main task, put by the Savior before Christians and this remains to be the Great Commision further on, until His coming. Because the times and the circumstances change, Christians needed to be flexible and to change the methods of preaching the Gospel, but to remain faithful to the message and to send it the way it was let by Jesus. In the middle of these changes there were and there are initiated many Christian projects whose authors or initiators want to fulfill the commandment of Jesus Christ. Still, Christian projects don’t always contribute to the fulfillment of the the Savior’s commandment to make disciples of all nations. In this article I want to present some aspects of the way how the Christian projects must report to the process of discipleship and advice for those who initiated, lead or are implied in projects.
Don’t initiate projects that don’t contribute to making disciples. As I said earlier, before His ascension to heaven, the Lord Jesus said:
All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 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. (Matthew 28:18–20)(NASB)
Our Savior didn’t give to us any other project than to go and make disciples of all nations, teaching them to observe all that He had commanded, His teaching that is written on the pages of the Holy Scriptures. All other projects must submit and contribute to the realization of this task. Before initiating a project, ask yourself how it will contribute to making disciples. Maybe you have already initiated one and you realize that it is far away from the purpose let by Jesus Christ. Don’t insist on your project anymore, no matter how great it is and how much success it has. Think that your ife is short and live it beautifully, so that you will be able to say as Apostle Paul said before his death:
For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing. (2 Timothy 4:6–8)(NASB)
Don’t be left implied in projects that don’t contribute to the realization of the Great Commision. Not all people initiate projects, but the most are the persons that are requested to come and activate in one of the projects. If you are a part of such a project, ask yourself what is the way that it contributes to making disciples. If it has a different purpose, it is good to tell this in nicely and respectfully to the initiators and leaders. But if there are no changes in regards to direction and purpose , you will have to think on the thing that your time is limited and how you want to invest your time in view of eternity. The Lord Jesus wants us to invest it in making disciples. Don’t forget, our time is limited. Time is the material of which life is made of. Unfortunately, many people imply in projects or initiate projects without thinking at making disciples.
The disciples are made through studing the Holy Scriptures. In His commandment, the Lord Jesus said:
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. (Matthew 28:19–20)(NASB)
Before leaving this world, Paul wrote to his beloved disciple, Timothy, and warned him regarding to the danger of the “Christian projects” that will not have dealings with discipleship:
I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. (2 Timothy 4:1–2)(NASB)
Further on, he explains what means to preach the Word “out of season” and he says:
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. (2 Timothy 4:3–4)(NASB)
The studing of the Holy Scriptures must be the most important priority of each Christian project. The co-workers must study the Bible systematicaly and they must motivate and advise this to all people that are connected in a way with the activities of respective Christian project.
Verify the efficiency of the Christian project according to the number and quality of the disciples that are prepared. When he wrote to his disciples from Philippi, Apostle Paul was saying:
Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain. (Philippians 2:14–16)(NASB)
The essence of the things said by Apostle Paul is that if we can not produce qualitative disciples, that are lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, all Christian projects in which we are implied are nothing else than running and fatigue in vain.
Make an evaluation of the project or of the projects in which you are implied. How efficient are they in making disciples? Do they produce disiples? What do you have to change in order to reestablish the project according to the direction put by the Savior? Come to action now, so that in the day of Christ, you will have reason to glory that you did not run in vain.
Translated by Djugostran Felicia