What does it mean to be a growing disciple, answering Christ’s commission to “go and make disciples”? You are a follower of Christ, right? Why do you think he called you to follow him? To save you? Of course! Perhaps because he loves you? Absolutely! But as a follower, where do you think he is taking you? What are God’s greatest hopes for your life? Let’s take a look at how Jesus’ own life defined this.
Jesus continually found himself surrounded by people. He loved them all. He loved the 5000+ who stayed past lunch to hear about the Kingdom. He loved the 500 who followed as time permitted. He loved the 120 who gathered in the upper room to pray for God’s guidance at Pentecost. He loved the 72 who went door-to-door sharing the Good News. But there was something about the 12 that brought out his deepest expression of love. Christ invested the bulk of his time into these 12 disciples. They were diverse in their personalities, occupations and religious beliefs. At least one, Matthew, was unchurched.
After living as an example, Jesus commissioned us to go make disciples as well (Matt. 28:18-20). In principle, he asked us to find 12 people to love—to invest our God-given love, our unquenchable hope for Heaven, and our true concern for mankind. He asked us to intentionally replicate his teachings and his point of view, but to do so with the distinct flavor of love (Jn. 13:34-35). This Quick Start Booklet can start a revolution within your church membership by asking, “Who are The 12 People You Love?"
In the pages of this booklet, you are being called to do something very revolutionary in a way that should feel strangely natural. The church and its established evangelistic methods remain calibrated for a world that no longer exists. Now is the time to expand the definition of evangelism from its commonly understood practice of simply conducting programs. Today it must also include the very effective practice of growing personal relationships. Why? Well, simply put, because people are not projects. You wouldn’t want someone else to see you as a project, would you? Do you hope someone will target you or go on a crusade until you conform to their beliefs and lifestyle? I doubt it. So we’re not going to look around for projects, targets or territories to reclaim with a crusade. We’re going to look at the people around us—the people who are near and dear to us because God has placed them there—and we’re going to love them.