The following thoughts on discipleship are from Rick Warren:
Not too long after John the Baptist baptized Jesus, he saw the Lord walking by and said to a couple of his disciples, “There goes the lamb of God. You need to follow him.”
Andrew and John started following Jesus and they asked, “Where are you going, Lord?” Jesus answered — “Come and see.”
You can’t ask for an easier commitment than that -- just come and see.
That’s where you and I need to start in our churches as we offer an open door to the people throughout our communities. That’s what you tell people about your weekend service – Check us out. Come and see. Listen to our music. Hear the message. You don’t have to sing anything, sign anything, or say anything. No significant commitment required.
We offer an open door for people to “come and see,” one that is easy to understand and participate in.
But we can’t leave them there at that simple commitment level. Jesus didn’t. Over three-and-a-half years, Jesus required more and more of his disciples.
He kept turning up the heat by defining what it means to follow him. He said you are his disciple if you:
- Obey his word (John 8:31)
- Love each other (John 13:31)
- Bear much fruit (John 15:8)
Finally, Jesus told his disciples that they must carry their cross—in other words they must be willing to die—to be true disciples (Luke 14:27). Jesus moved his followers from “come and see” to “come and die.” That’s the discipleship process of Jesus. That’s what we need to do, too.
We must focus our efforts on this Jesus model -- moving people from “come and see” to “come and die.” If you do not have a structure for doing this -- if you do not have a deliberate plan for moving visitors toward a commitment to Jesus and then into deeper discipleship with Jesus – you’ll find a lot of people stalled at the “come and see” stage.
As you think about your small group experience, ask yourself the following questions:
- How can our small group help people "come and see" who Jesus is?
- How can our small group encourage one another to "come and die" with Jesus?
- What are we doing to help each other better obey the word?
- What things do we do to grow our love for one another?
- How does our group measure and celebrate the "spiritual fruit" we are bearing?