Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.—Matthew 28:19-20
I’ll never forget the first time anyone ever challenged me to live out this “Great Commission.” I was a young, single, green youth minister working in semi-rural Iowa, and I had no idea what I was doing. I sat down with the pastor to go through my plans for the fall, which included every kind of fun game and outing you could imagine. I thought, “Any kid would LOVE to be in this youth group!” My pastor looked over the plans, and offered these words. He said, “It looks like you and the kids will have a lot of fun. But what if, at the same time you were to take the great commission seriously… and let that direct your activity.” I’d like to say I knew immediately what he was talking about and what to do, but I didn’t. I was born and raised in the church, and had heard these words—the commission that Jesus speaks to his disciples in Matthew 28—my whole life, but never had I been challenged to think about what it might look like to try to live this out, and to invite and equip others to do the same. That day I heard the challenge and decided to respond and this call to be a disciple… and to go and make more disciples has shaped my life and ministry ever since. That seemingly simple challenge from my pastor changed the course of my life… and I could never say thank you enough.
See, I believe that when individuals and communities and churches demonstrate their commitment to discipleship, the power of the Holy Spirit is released in the ministries and mission of the church, and there is nothing more exciting than that!
In the weeks and months ahead, I want to invite and challenge you join me in this journey of further building a discipling culture in our church. I’ll say much more about different ways that can happen as we go, but for now I simply want to share a simple acronym to help us remember the basic foundational practices of those who seek to live active lives of faith as disciples of Jesus. PoWeR SuRGe (PWRSRG). Disciples of Jesus seek to…
- PRAY daily
- WORSHIP weekly
- READ the Bible
- SERVE at and beyond St. Martin
- Be in RELATIONSHIPS that encourage spiritual growth
- GIVE of time, talents and resources
Over the next several weeks I will highlight each one of these marks of discipleship in this space to try to help us along the way. It is such a joy to be on this journey together. I can’t wait to see what God will do both in us and through us! I love being your pastor.