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4 Simple Steps for Mission

November 6, 2020

Discipleship Blog Author

Scott Long

Discipleship Pastor

4 Simple Steps for Mission

One of the things I have learned about habits in the lives of disciple makers is that they are always thinking strategically about reaching lost people. Darlene Shirley is an administrative assistant for pastors at our church. Her job title would not imply it, but she is a disciple maker. In addition to her responsibilities of keeping the pastors on track for ministry and running all of the difficult logistics we aren't smart enough to do, she walks intentionally with younger women for life on life discipleship. She contributes significantly to vision and ideas for equipping our church's discipleship team. Recently she shared with me some things God has been showing her about living on mission and making disciples in everyday life. It was a simple but really practical and biblically-informed strategy for reaching lost people. It was too good not to share to help other disciple makers in their journey. What I love most about it is it's born out of the heart of someone that God has set on fire for his mission. Someone who's life is marked by actually investing in people to know and follow Jesus. Any strategy flowing from experience and practice is worth listening to. Below she writes -

"Here's something that I developed from my quiet time this morning that helps me think about disciple making. It gives me some steps of progression to help me guide someone based on God's invitation to his people in Isaiah 55. It may be rough or not make sense to anyone but me, but it's an idea..."
COME - Come to the one who supplies and satisfies.
"Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters; And you who have no money come, buy and eat. Come, buy wine and milk Without money and without cost. (Isaiah 55:1-2a)
1. Invite people to come to church, come to community group, come to d-group. Just invite them to come.
LISTEN - Listen to live. It's a promise.
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And delight yourself in abundance. "Incline your ear and come to Me. Listen, that you may live; (Isaiah 55:2b-3a)
2. Encourage them to listen to the preached word, listen to the taught word, listen to the gospel shared, listen to the Holy Spirit through the written word.
SEEK - Seek and find.
Seek the LORD while He may be found; (Isaiah 55:6)
3. Pray for them to have the desire to seek the Lord and teach them how to seek him and to find him while there is time.
CALL - Call on him in a position of repentance.
Call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way And the unrighteous man his thoughts; And let him return to the LORD, And He will have compassion on him, And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon. (Isaiah 55:6b-7a)
4. Lead them to recognize their sin, the solution, and to call on the Lord for salvation and restoration.

- Darlene Shirley

Here is a beautifully simple strategy for mission. Within our relationships with lost friends, family members, neighbors, or co-workers we can move towards these 4 steps. Invite them. This is particularly helpful when you have developed a relationship with someone that hasn't moved much past formalities. This can happen to us, maybe we have shared our testimony and even shared the gospel, and we are thinking, "now what?" "How do I get Jesus back into our conversations without using the same presentation I used before?" Simply invite them. Invite them often. Invite them over and over until they come. Once they have come, start asking them what they are hearing and learning. Encourage them to Listen to God. Give them some tools on how to do that. You could ask them to start reading the Bible with you where they will no doubt be confronted with the gospel. The claims of Jesus. The identity of Jesus. The work of Jesus. What they are hearing can now become a topic of conversations when you are around each other. There is then a sudden transition of encouraging them to Seek Jesus. Pray that they would understand their need to be redeemed. Pray that the conversations you have had would stir up a desire in them to find the Savior. You seek the Lord on their behalf that they might seek the Lord for themselves. Once you are convinced they understand the gospel, then Call them. Call them to repentance and faith. Urge them to call on the Lord. Clearly explain what saving faith in Jesus is. Explain to them what it means to repent and urge them to call out to Him, appealing to his mercy.

Grace & Peace, Scott