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What does the phrase “go make disciples” mean to you?

It’s not a suggestion. It’s a charge. It’s a challenge.

As an organization named One Challenge, we take this seriously. It’s the one challenge, but it’s not something we take on alone. It’s a mantle we take with the covering and authority of the Holy Spirit, “surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” And we do it in partnership with the whole body of Christ – you and me.

First – Be Discipled

In the Gospels, Jesus spent years walking alongside the 12 disciples. He taught them, prayed with and for them, revealed his majesty to them. Living his life as an example of what he would later ask them to do. He discipled them.

Just like them, we need to be discipled. Our personal walk with the Lord is critical. We don’t have the privilege of Jesus in flesh and blood before us, but we have the gift of the Holy Spirit indwelling in us. Time in the Word and in prayer is unmatched.

We need others. None of us are above having others speak into our lives: not mission workers, not pastors, not evangelists, not book authors. We all need to be a part of discipling communities – life on life. “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken,” Ecc. 4:12.

Who speaks truth into your life? Who can you learn from? Whose life reflects Christ? Life-giving, discipleship conversations from many.

Failure Happens

Sometimes the disciples got it, and then immediately lost it. Peter is a great example. In Matthew 14, he says: “Lord, if it’s you … tell me to come to you on the water.” Jesus says, “Come.” In faith, Peter steps outside the boat and walks on water, to then become afraid, begin to sink, and cry out, “Lord, save me!”

“Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?’” Matthew 14:31.

How many times do we do this exact thing? Jesus reaches out. He doesn’t give up on Peter and he won’t give up on us. How many more times does Peter fail? A lot. Just like we do every day. Thankfully for us, and Peter, grace abounds.

Active Participation – Be Disciples Who Make Disciples

The disciples didn’t spend years listening to Jesus and doing nothing. Jesus expected them to participate. In Matthew 10, he sends them out. They actively participate in Jesus’ ministry.

There are many instructions, and he gives them great authority. In his instructions, he includes, “Freely you have received; freely give,” Matthew 10:8.

Although their earthly journey alongside Jesus was not yet over, they began the work of making disciples. They had much more to learn, and mistakes were yet to be made, but in midst of the journey they began to practice.

Discipleship is an ongoing process, with active participation. Being discipled and discipling others walk in tandem. 

Jesus leaves his disciples, and us, with the challenge – “Go and make disciples of all nations.” He didn’t leave them alone, nor was their learning journey over. The Holy Spirit came upon them to teach and empower them. He resides in us for the same purpose.

Let’s complete the one challenge together!

Kelli, Journalist, US-Mobilization Center