Making disciples (24-11-22)
A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.” (Mark 4. 3 – 8)
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28. 19 – 20)
I recently came across the following quote from the Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell:
‘McDonalds makes hamburgers. Cadburys make chocolate.
The Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela make music.
Heineken make beer.
Toyota makes cars.
Rolex makes watches.
Safaricom across most of Africa make connections.
And, sisters and brothers, the Church of Jesus Christ makes disciples.
That is our core business. That is what we are about.’
I have met Archbishop Stephen on numerous occasions, and as I read, I could hear his voice delivering these lines. They would have been spoken with a certain sense of drama gradually building to the climax, when he reminded his audience of one of our core tasks as the church. Archbishop Stephen is passionate about mission and making disciples. He is patron of Leading Your Church Into Growth (LYCIG), because he is so committed to seeing new people come to faith and growing the church.
When we share our faith with others, there will always be those who are not interested (seed that falls on rocky ground), those who seem eager at first but then their enthusiasm quickly dissipates (seed that falls on shallow soil), those who are keen but get bogged down with the everyday complexities of life (seed that falls among thorns). Jesus says that three quarters of the seed won’t come to much, but a quarter will grow and bear fruit. Some people will genuinely want to know more and will begin to grow in their faith. And when we share our faith in this way, we will be taking part in The Great Commission of Jesus to all disciples to make more disciples.
Christmas is an easy time to talk about faith. Almost everyone knows the essentials of the Christmas story from school nativities and Christmas carols. This is a great opportunity to get involved in ‘our core business’ and discover what others think about Jesus. Why not start the conversation with someone today!
A Prayer Heavenly Father,
you loved the world so much that you sent your Son to live amongst us.
Help us to share this Good News in the coming weeks.
Come set your rule and reign by Rend Collective.