Jesus’ last command before He ascended to heaven as stated in Matthew 28:19 is to go and make disciples, teaching all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Holy Trinity. Pastor George Barna in his book “Growing True Disciples” makes an effort on helping church leaders and pastors evaluate and dig deeper on how their flock and the church itself is fulfilling its part in the Great Commission.
Churches need to be fully equipped in order to effectively share the good news with the nations. Pastor Barna stressed that discipleship is about the deliberate guidance of individuals who had wholeheartedly submitted to the lordship of Jesus Christ and who want to mirror Christ in every aspect: may it be thought, word and deed (Barna, 2000). His book composed of eight chapters is primarily aimed at helping the church refocus back on its first and primary calling as followers of Christ, instead of desiring things that will allow them to remain in their comfort zones and not go after what God had in mind for choosing them. Among the steps in refocusing is to gain complete dependence on God instead of relying on our earthly strength, a vow to commune regularly with God thus fostering personal growth, and to acknowledge always that discipleship is a work of the church as a body.
Barna suggested in his book several methods on how people will rekindle their passion for the lost and increasingly think less of themselves in pursuit of making disciples. He opened five models and examples, namely: Competencies Model which focuses on personal evaluation and integration, Missional Model for the church’s mission, Worldview Model stressing biblical transformation preceding personal transformation, Lecture-Lab Model which identifies learning through sermons and small groups to foster faith-based relationships, as well as the Neighborhood Model, which altogether combines elements of Worldview, Competencies, and Missional Models concentrating on having small groups from the same geographic area (Sturz, 2003). As a result, churches will begin to see a more functional entity in themselves, working not for itself but for something greater.
Barna, G. 2000. Growing True Disciples. Colorado Springs: WaterBrook Press, 2001.pp 208.
Sturz, J. 2003. Currents in Theology and Mission.
Accessed: August 06, 2007.