I really dislike dancing. I have no rhythm and I feel like everyone is looking at me. Why do I feel like people are looking? Refer to the first two points.
I assure you, if I ever danced around you, you would watch…more like a train wreck fascination than a thing of beauty.
At the end of Matthew Jesus teaches us a rhythm. He teaches us a dance…not just going through the motions…but feeling the music of his words and acting them out on life’s stage in real time.
Here is the song…we need to re-familiarize ourselves with the beat.
“18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 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, 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matt 28:18-20)
Go and make disciples.
Baptizing them…and teaching them to obey everything I commanded.
Jesus commanded his disciples to make disciples. When they do what Jesus said to do in the Great Commission they are going to teach the disciples they make to obey the great commission, for that next iteration, to also make disciples of others because Jesus commanded it and commanded the next group obey his teachings.
This is the rhythm of the Commission. It has a cycle. It goes around and around and around…
Until it doesn’t.
Somewhere along the way the song stopped playing. It came to a screeching halt. Instead of making disciples we started converting people. That is a completely different dance with a completely different, 5 step, rhythm.
Conversion doesn’t often require discipling. The beginning of discipling is conversion. We have confused the start of the race for the race itself and hung many people out to dry.
Our default discipling process is hope they attend Bible class. As long as they attend they must be okay. But that is not okay.
What do you say to a newly baptized person? Have you ever showed them next steps? If so, I imagine you are exceptional. Or do you, like me far too often, tell them you love them, support them and are here for them. How many of them ever took you up on that offer of support later?
Is this working?
We stopped singing the same song Jesus was singing. We lost the rhythm of the song and the discipleship dance that went along with it was lost as well. We could still remember a few notes of the song – baptizing – but lost much of the rest of it. It has plagued us ever since.
Let’s get back to the full song of Matthew 28:18-20 and make some disciples! It is a dance we all must learn and you will have the time of your life doing it, even if it feels a little weird at first.