Thursday, September 5, 2019
Thursday, September 5, 2019
Some people may recall how visiting missionaries would click through images of ministry in far-off corners of the globe via the now-defunct slide projector. Afterward, over homemade pie, silent thoughts most likely swirled within the aroma of freshly brewed coffee: These missionaries have a special call from God, but who am I to think that I am equally called to share the good news on home soil?
Today's leaders of Mennonite Mission Network's church-planting and discipleship initiatives are seeking to erase that dichotomy.
In the 2013 Mission Sunday worship resource, Sandy Miller, senior executive for Resourcing and Mobilization, wrote: "In Matthew 28:19, the Greek verb poreuomai (por-yoo'-om-ahee), or 'go,' is a participle, not an imperative, and notes ongoing action. … God's commission is for all of us to be making disciples as we go. As we go to work … as we go to college … as we go to family gatherings … all that we do as individuals in our Christian journey is about making disciples. … Some people will be called to travel far away, but that does not release any of us from being about the work of Jesus where we are."
To help us all join Jesus' work "at home," Mission Network launched its new Sent Network in late August to resource church planters. Sent Network is a resourcing curriculum launched to recruit, equip and prepare church planters for their task. The launch of the next cycle of the ongoing Missional Discipleship Initiative (MDI) is planned for October. MDI strengthens congregations and their ministries through intentional, authentic and relational disciple-making through small-group dynamics.
Whether called to plant new congregations, to multiply disciples within congregations, or to support this work, Mission Network desires to go with you as you go! Because as Romans 10:15 (NIV) says, "… How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"Pray
that all God's people share God's good news as they go into all areas of their lives.
5 ways to multiply disciples within your congregation
By Marvin Lorenzana, Discipleship Initiatives director, Mennonite Mission Network
1. Preach sermons about disciple-making. Use scriptural examples of how Jesus modeled effective ways of engaging people from all walks of life, i.e., Matthew, the tax collector, in Matthew 9:9-13, the woman who escaped stoning in John 8:1-11. Highlighting Jesus' relational style can powerfully form practices of congregants.
2. Shape worship services on obedience to the Great Commission. Incorporate songs and Scripture that highlight what it means to share the gospel "as you go." For example, a worship leader could use Hymnal: A Worship Book, #229, "Lord, you have come to the lakeshore," to highlight how Jesus called the first disciples from their life of fishing to become fishers of people. (Matthew 4:18-23)
3. Invest in a few potential disciple-makers and then release them to disciple others. Discern those within your congregation who have hearts aflame for God and whose gifts are suited to sharing the gospel with others, i.e., Jesus with the woman at the well in John 4. After sharing an in-depth conversation, Jesus knew she would tell others about him.
4. Make small-group dynamics an important focal point of your congregational culture. "Where two or three are gathered" works well for disciple-making and disciple-multiplying. Several persons that gather around prayer, accountability and Bible reading grow individually and corporately. Mennonite Mission Network's Missional Discipleship Initiative strengthens congregations and their ministries through intentional, authentic and relational disciple-making through small-group dynamics. (See #5 for how to begin your congregational process today!)
5. Contact Marvin Lorenzana at MarvinL@MennoniteMission.net, or call him toll-free at 866-866-2872, ext. 23019 to learn more about how to get connected to MDI resources.
Laurie Oswald Robinson
<img alt="Faith in action" src="https://assets.mennonites.org/PublishingImages/2019/BeyondFIA_C19-1142_cover.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />