What if I told you that Jesus didn’t want us to win converts? Out of our desire to win converts we’ve often tried to make Jesus more convenient. That’s what our culture is all about.
So watering down the Gospel to reflect the culture can be an easy trap to fall into. We often make following Jesus comfortable and easy, reducing the expectations: You don’t have to do anything different. Just believe. When we sell people on a Jesus who is easy to follow, can we really blame them for bailing out or drifting off when things don’t go smoothly?
Jesus is a part of our lives when He should be our life. He is life. Following Him requires all our life. The disciples ate, drank, sweat and slept ministry from when Jesus called them to the day they died. Jesus wasn’t a part of their lives. He was their life. Many people come to Jesus thinking it is enough to believe, to stand on the sidelines and root for Him. Jesus isn’t looking for cheerleaders. He is seeking men and women who will follow Him whatever the cost. He is looking for radical devotion, unreasonable commitment and undivided dedication.
Jesus isn’t looking for converts. He’s looking for disciples. Converts are new believers. We all start as converts. Too often we stop there. Converts aren’t bad or wrong. They are like babies. There’s nothing wrong with being a baby. The problem comes when that doesn’t change. When a baby acts like a baby, it’s cute. When a 35-year-old does, it’s sad. As Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13:11, “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.”
For years churches have worked to get people to make a decision to accept Christ, which is a great thing. It’s important. But what happens next? Where’s the follow up? How do we train up new Christians?
Our mission isn’t to win converts; it’s to make disciples. So what is the difference?
1. Converts are believers who live like the world. Disciples are believers who live
2. Converts are focused on their values, interests, worries, fears, priorities, and
lifestyles. Disciples are focused on Jesus.
3. Converts go to church. Disciples are the church.
4. Converts are involved in the mission of Jesus. Disciples are committed to it.
5. Converts cheer from the sidelines. Disciples are in the game.
6. Converts hear the Word of God. Disciples live it.
7. Converts follow the rules. Disciples follow Jesus.
8. Converts are all about believing. Disciples are all about being.
9. Converts are comfortable. Disciples make sacrifices.
10. Converts talk. Disciples make more disciples.