About Spiritual Life Ministries
“How to fulfill the Great Commission of Jesus by building world-visionary, world-impacting disciples of Jesus Christ, disciples who will (by assignment) reproduce others of the same kind and thus will multiply to the ends of the earth until the end of time.”
This mission statement is too replete to be grasped at one reading, so I am going to isolate eleven key concepts in the statement and amplify them with further explanation.
HOW – so this ministry seeks to present the theory and technique, the pattern and practice, of disciple-making.
FULFILL—the word itself means to “fill full,” and we will try to fill each mind full with accurate perception of the Great Commission and its gigantic responsibility (that is, each Christian must understand the exact meaning of the words of the Great Commission), and adequate practice (that is, each Christian must undertake the assignment of the Commission, and adequately practice that which will fulfill it).
THE GREAT COMMISSION—The Commission is “great” because of Whose Commission it is – it was given by the Person Who is the Son of God and Lord of the universe, and because it is such a gigantic assignment. Also, it is a “commission,” or “co-mission.” It is the mission which brought Jesus from heaven to earth, and the prefix “co” is added, which means “together.” Thus, it concerns the mission which Jesus Christ Himself came to earth to initiate and which He shares with each of His followers. Disciple-making is the work that occupied His mind and conduct then, and it continues to do so today, and by the Mandate in the Commission, He has passed this work on to each of His disciples.
BUILDING. Or constructing. In this case, we are partners in a construction business which is named “Christ and the Christian, Inc.” Jesus Christ founded the business, heads the company, and is the Benevolent Employer of every person in it (that is, every Christian)—and both He and each employee (Christian) engage in the same life and purpose.
WORLD-VISIONARY. This introduces two great concepts into the picture. (1) The assignment of every employee in the business has to do with the world—the whole wide world. Evangelist D.L. Moody once said, “A Christian is a person to whom God has entrusted all of his fellow men—and this is a serious trust given by God to each Christian.” So each Christian has been enlisted as a “manager of mankind”, and the stewardship he practices must be on God’s terms. Why is this so important? Because God has given a strategy by which, if properly practiced, any Christian can massively challenge and change gigantic numbers of men all over the world.
Note that each disciple is to be a world-visionary person. In this case, “world” is not a general or generic term. Jesus indicated that the word “world” is meant to include every human being on earth. So each Christian has been co-missioned by the Son of God to have a global mission and a global ministry. He is to be a world-carrier (like Atlas) and a world-impactor.
The bottom line? A global mission requires a global vision (and a GLOBAL STRATEGY). No Christian can have vision or compassion for something or someone he is ignorant of. “All nations”—how much do you know about each nation of the world? The ethnic groups? The cultures? God cannot truly lay anything on your heart if you are unaware of that thing. So we must learn our world as Step One in fulfilling the Great Commission.
WORLD-IMPACTING. Every sports fan knows what an “impact player” is. He is often also called a “franchise player.” He is the player whose natural and developed abilities, confident attitude, etc., will “carry the team” to victories that would not be achieved without him. Every Christian is to have Total World Impact. He is to be an “impact player” on Christ’s Global Team
DISCIPLES. This is the key word in Christ’s Global Strategy. So we will spend much time in defining and explaining this word. This key-word is developed in two senses: (1) Being disciples of Christ. Every Christian is enlisted as a disciple of Christ the moment he is saved. Being a disciple of Christ is not an optional extra for a believer; it is what a believer is. (2) Building other disciples. Every Christian is commanded by Jesus to “turn people into disciples.” Much time and effort will be given in this ministry to the two key matters of being disciples and building disciples.
DISCIPLES OF JESUS CHRIST. Remember, we are exploring the Great Co-mission, the joint assignment Jesus has graciously chosen to co-share with His followers. Never forget this—a Christian is a born-again person whose spiritual birth inclines him to be a personal follower, a disciple, of Jesus Christ. So his responsibility and accountability are from Christ Himself. He is to be daily related to the Living Lord and daily responsible to Him—on His terms. Christ’s Lordship is never to be merely generic (a Lordship which we acknowledge vocally but never fully practice vocationally), but is to be actual and dynamic in a believer’s life, fully determining everything he is and does. Again, we will spend much time exploring the meaning of this dimension of the assignment.
DISCIPLES WHO WILL REPRODUCE. Reproduction is the first evident mark of the quality of one’s own discipleship. Daniel Mazia, science professor at the University of California, said, “Species that do not reproduce and multiply will die.” Every normal parent normally expects his children to multiply. Again, we must not receive this idea as a mere “nice idea,” a nice-sounding formula. Every normal human being is normally expected to multiply biologically, and God expects the same thing of His children spiritually. This task must be taken personally, and accomplished individually. In a natural species, multiplication is not done in/by mass, but by two members of the species. Am I truly being used of God to reproduce the Life, Person, Lifestyle and Strategy of Christ in other people? This is the precise meaning of Christ’s command to “turn people into disciples.”
A normal human being may be expected to reproduce others “after his kind” (trace this phrase in the early chapters of Genesis) and every true follower of Christ is fully responsible to reproduce others after his kind. So the focus of every believer’s ministry is to be on the building of the workers and not merely on doing ministerial work. Christian, are you daily engaging in ministering, and is this activity producing and reproducing a host of world-impacting believers?
OTHERS OF THE SAME KIND. This idea is often stated in the New Testament. In Luke 6:40b, for example, Jesus said, “When the process is completed, the disciple will be like his teacher/discipler.”
MULTIPLY. You see, the Christianity of the New Testament was/is a multiplying movement. But the movement multiplied only as the individuals in it multiplied. According to the New Testament, each Christian should generate multi-generational multiplication. We will explore this concept and its staggering potential again and again in this ministry.
The word “downline” is a word we have often used to refer to the people who should show up in a generationally enlarging way in your future as you fully function as a disciple of Christ and fully obey His command to “turn people into disciples.” And a time-frame is attached: “…until the end of time.” Just as generations of people stretch through history as a product of reproduction and multiplication, the same should be true of disciples of Jesus Christ. Each disciple should start a qualitative and quantitative downline of disciples through his disciple-making efforts that will be enlarging throughout the earth until Jesus comes.