“Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:11)
John the Baptist was the forerunner; he was born to literally tell the world to repent and prepare their hearts for Christ Jesus, the Messiah. He was, to say the least, Christianity’s very first Evangelist.
Evangelists are a called people group within the body of Christ, much-needed in today’s world. It amazes me how they are gifted to amass people who are hungry for the love of a Savior, deliver a message and can lead a multitude into receiving Christ into their hearts. However, Western Evangelists, despite their love for Jesus and humanity are not necessarily also great disciple-makers. Although successful at leading people to Christ through prayer, they often seem to leave a brother dangling off the top of a cliff.
(Hear me out – I am not picking on Evangelists and mean no disrespect nor harm in stating such. Evangelists are called to go in and spread the Good News of Jesus and move on to the next group or town to plant seeds. Some are called to prophesy/heal others are not. Seed planters, like Evangelists, are integral to the harvest! However, continue on and see where I’m going with this, please.)
Jesus didn’t call Believers to leave a brother dangling. Jesus called his followers to go and make disciples. To teach all nations. Sadly, discipleship is not happening as often as it needs to in Western society. There seem to be plenty who go out and share the good news, and walk people through a prayer asking Jesus to save them, maybe they pray or prophesy over a person, but that is all. There is no connection between people after that singular incident. A church may occasionally offer a discipleship class, but are people truly prepared afterwards? Yea, yea…I know, some are planters, some are sowers and others reap the fruit…but, but the seed must be nourished to sprout and grow toward The Light, in order to bear good fruit!
There are a plethora of pastors whom understand the urgency of this time on earth, and are calling for goats to transform into sheep. Why? We need more sowers, not just planters. Too many are complacent and willing to leave a brother dangling instead of being imitators of Christ to those around them, to new Believers who have no clue what it means to truly follow Jesus!
He is calling people to get out of the pews and help a sister up off the ground after the evangelist swoops in with a heavy word and allowing God’s will to overcome her; minister to her heart for deeper understanding. God wants people to hold that brother accountable who is sitting on the edge of the cliff because yet another sin issue is weighing him down. He is sending people out to care for and share Jesus with the homeless and the addicts, but not simply to meet physical, rather their spiritual needs. The provision is an opening, not a closing statement!
None of this good work is to make you feel good about helping a stranger or doing for another what you aren’t able for a family member who can’t receive love. None of the “work” you do for the Kingdom can be about you because you can get in the way of God’s will. People need Jesus, not you! Unbelievers who convert need to be introduced to and then taught Jesus’ purpose and God’s will for humanity; Christian’s need to be discipled the way Jesus discipled his followers. Discipleship requires commitment to and investment in the other person. It is not a notch on your “I led someone to Christ today and I’m going to heaven for it” belt, because that isn’t true: The Holy Spirit led you to them, and them to Christ – you are simply the vessel He used. Christ led you to a brother or sister who is dangling, so they could write His name across their heart and be restored by His living, purifying water.
“This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; 17 And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.18 Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.19 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; 21 And having an high priest over the house of God; 22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) 24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:16-25)