God commissioned mankind from the outset to “be fruitful and to multiply.” We have been stuck in addition ever since. What will it take to move us from winning souls to winning wholes? From making the transition from saving souls to saving households?
If we fail to make disciples, we have failed the great commission task. Jesus never said to go and get people to repeat a prayer, but to go and make disciples. Jesus knew the that the only way the kingdom would advance would be through life on life relationships that produce effective, fruitful, multiplication of radical Jesus followers.
Dawson E. Troutman wrote in Born to Reproduce something I think gets to the heart of what I’m trying to say.
“You can lead a soul to Christ in twenty minutes to a couple of hours. But it takes from twenty weeks to a couple of years to get him on the road to maturity, victorious over the sins and the recurring problems that come along. He must learn how to make right decisions. He must be warned of the various “isms” that are likely to reach out with their octopus arms and pull him in and sidetrack him.
But when you get yourself a man, you have doubled your ministry — in fact, you have more than doubled your ministry. Do you know why? When you teach your man, he sees how it is done and he imitates you.
If I were the minister of a church and had deacons or elders to pass the plate and choir members to sing, I would say, “Thank God for your help. We need you. Praise the Lord for these extra things that you do,” but I would keep pressing home the big job — “Be fruitful and multiply.”
All these other things are incidental to the supreme task of winning a man or woman to Jesus Christ and then helping him or her to go on.
Where is your man? Where is your woman?
We should all, everyone of us, ask ourselves, where is my Paul and who is my Timothy? Who am I accountable to and who am I responsible for?
Do you want disciples or do you want converts?