Making Disciples of Jesus Christ for?…

The mission statement of the United Methodist Church is “to Make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation the Word.” Indeed this is the mission of the entire body of Christ.

The scriptures tells us to go and make disciples of all nations.  But many times Christians don’t ask the most important question, “why?”  Why make disciples of Jesus Christ?  Is it so that I can make sure that I get to heaven?  Or even to make sure that as many of us go to heaven as possible?  Is it to make our churches or denominations bigger?  (I assume if we do make disciples then these two things will be likely positive effects.)

Why does God want us to be disciples of Jesus Christ?  So that we can transform the world!!  It is God’s intention that the world be redeemed, changed and transformed.  You can see an easy connection here between personal piety and social holiness.  We don’t become disciples for our own personal gain, even our own personal spiritual gain.  We become disciples to change this world.  To stand against principalities and powers of this present darkness.

Remember the passage Jesus read out of Isaiah to describe his ministry?

“‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.’  (Luke 4:18-19)

Jesus proclamation is clear that God didn’t create us and redeem us just for our own personal good.  We have been made disciples of Christ by water and spirit to make a difference in the lives of all those around us.  A “for me” gospel isn’t Jesus’ gospel.