Let’s say for a minute that the mission of the church was to make strawberry cheesecakes. The commission we have, in this thought experiment, is to church out as many strawberry cheesecakes as humanly possible. Therefore, in order for the church to succeed, we need as many people as possible involved in making these strawberry cheesecakes.
Would it make sense to get everybody in the room and tell them the importance of making strawberry cheesecakes before sending them out, hoping that they’ll go do it?
Would it make sense to give a presentation every now and then on how a strawberry cheesecake is made?
Would it be fair to get frustrated at the members if a number of them still felt incapable of making strawberry cheesecakes and therefore didn’t do it?
Or, would it be a better use of our time to get the people who know how to make strawberry cheesecakes and get them to take others under their wings? The experienced could have the beginners over, show them how it’s done, and watch over them as they learn to do it for themselves.
Now substitute “making strawberry cheesecakes” with “growing spiritually,” “making disciples,” and “evangelizing.”
Why does evangelism so often go undone? Why do some Christians operate more as customers than disciples? Why are personal commitment and deep spiritual life hard to come by sometimes? Could it be our methods?
Developing a thriving walk with God and sharing the love of Christ with others through disciple making, evangelism, and carrying out the “one anothers” takes far more training than does learning how to make a strawberry cheesecake. If we would be challenged to effectively train an army of strawberry cheesecake makers by use of lecture-style teaching, why do we think we can make mature disciples through lecture-style teaching?
We must invest in each other on a personal level. Those who know how to “make strawberry cheesecakes,” so to speak, must make it their goal to teach others how to do the same. This is the Great Commission cycle at work. Make disciples, who make disciples, who make disciples.