Shalom dear brethren. I wish you to share the following lessons from the lifestyle of the Apostle Paul. These lessons may allow us to think again about the calling of the church of Christ nowadays. They may help us to repent where we have not been fulfilling the great commission given to us by our Lord Christ.
Let’s first read carefully the following scriptures:
Acts 20:23-24,31,33-35; Acts 21:13
1. Very deep conviction, deep knowledge allowing him to endure imprisonment and sufferings of this earthly life. This deep conviction and knowledge allowed the Apostle Paul to put God’s interests and those of His kingdom before his own interests. He knew God to the level he was able to obey and fear Him more than he fears imprisonment and and sufferings.
2. Hardworking man: imagine 3 years working day and night without resting (Acts 20:31 Therefore be always alert and on your guard, being mindful that for three years I never stopped night or day seriously to admonish and advise and exhort you one by one with tears.)
3. A man who is humble and of broken or wounded spirit. He was very passionate to his ministry of saving lost souls. He was heart-oriented not money oriented!
4. He was a disciple maker not simply an evangelist. Yes He preached the gospel but also beyond that he made a strong followup using one by one method and did it with tears! Moreover he was always with disciples in training watching and helping him and often they did and he helped as we read it in Acts 19:9-10; 20:4
5. He did the ministry without expecting the church members to make him survive. He used his hands and work to meet his needs and those with him. He was not waiting for his disciples to assist him to survive. He did not see the ministry or his disciples as source of income to help him to survive.
Churches today we need to learn from Apostle Paul and adopt his lifestyle. He imitated Jesus and exactly that is what Jesus did, He was a disciple-maker. Just as disciples spent enough time with Jesus asking questions of what not understood, the same way Apostle Paul discussed with his disciples during two years:
But when some became more and more stubborn (hardened and unbelieving), discrediting and reviling and speaking evil of the Way [of the Lord] before the congregation, he separated himself from them, taking the disciples with him, and went on holding daily discussions in the lecture room of Tyrannus from about ten o’clock till three.
This continued for two years, so that all the inhabitants of [the province of] Asia, Jews as well as Greeks, heard the Word of the Lord [concerning the attainment through Christ of eternal salvation in the kingdom of God].
This time is a good opportunity for every believer, leader or not leader to deeply reflect on our attitude toward the accomplishment of the great commission as written in Matthew 28:19. It is our time to deeply think on how we were carrying this great command of our Lord and repent as His church who has to fulfill this command.
– Are we really making disciples or we are just only evangelizing to increase the number in our respective congregations? Do we see people’s lives transforming shifting from one level to another?
– Do you spend time with your disciples that they can closely observe and diligently follow your teaching, conduct, purpose in life, faith, patience, love, steadfastness, Persecutions, sufferings and see how out of them all the Lord deliver you (2 Timothy 3:10-11)? Do you really share your deep life with your disciples or you meet them on Sunday for only two hours?
– Do you see your disciples growing in relationship with Christ? The growth results into maturity and the maturity leads to multiplication or reproduction!
– Do you release your disciples to make other disciples or you hold them for your personal interest?
– Are you teaching them to follow God not to follow you? Are you teaching them to love God with all their souls, wisdom, strength, their heart , and love others?
– Is really a large church or mega church the best way to make disciples? Can it allow the mutual exchange or successful discussion necessary to make disciples as we read in scriptures?
– Can all temples present nowadays fill all people in need of the gospel of Christ? Surely not but it is possible that all people present in our local churches reach the lost souls out of the temples!
As we pray that God may deliver us from this pandemic of corona virus covid 19, let’s also repent and do His will, change our attitude and the way we fulfill the great commission by learning from the feet of Christ and His Apostles.
As we really convert in our hearts, the following action steps may be helpful toward the accomplishment of the great commission after the corona virus 🦠 has been eradicated.
Strategies to reach the lost souls
1. Become responsible: a mature person is responsible, he knows that he will be judged based on the assignment given to him. Every believer was assigned to actively participate in the process of making disciples (Matthew 28:19), so we must think of this responsibility and be intentional for its implementation.
2. Pray to become passionate for the lost souls: you will never be successful in something you are not passionate for (2 Corr. 11:28).
3. Pray God to connect you to someone in need of help: Don’t go far away, you may find someone in need of your care from your old or early network. Events and circumstances may allow this to happen. What is essential is to be passionate for the lost souls and be always intentional and pray God to connect to you a man of peace. Being intentional means to be able to sense the area of need from the conversation with someone.
4. Make sure you take an appointment with the concerned person. If the concerned person is a man of peace, he will continue to receive help from you. So it’s better to make a regular plan of meeting so that you may continue to help him to grow up in relationship with God up to the level you may release him to help others. The purpose of your meeting has to help him to grow in relationship with Christ and train him to love God and others. It has to help him receiving solutions of his problems from God not from you. The disciple has to follow Christ, not you.
5. Avoid speaking too much rather let him speak much more than you. Learn to listen much and speak less. Let him share with you his struggles and worries. Try to see the root cause of those struggles and worries, if any advice is needed, give it. But if it’s prayer that is needed then do it.
6. As you disciple him, Use this approach: I do you watch, I do you help, you do I assist, and you do I help. Give him opportunity to do and then help him in what he is doing.
7. Always pray for him and train him to pray for his needs. He will himself experience God as he receives answers of his needs from God. And you too will see God changing his life.
Your brother in Christ, HATEGEKIMANA P. CELESTIN
The Express News