Mark Sanborn wrote a great little book a couple of years ago called, “You Don’t Need a Title to be a Leader”. The premise of the book was that people at any level or profession can choose to be a leader in their own set of circumstances. Your name plate didn’t need a title to enable you to be a leader right where you were.
I believe the same principle can be applied to our walk with Christ. You don’t need a title to make disciples. Too many times we leave it up to the pastors and elders of our churches to do the spiritual heavy lifting, when the truth is Christ has empowered all of us to do the work of His kingdom.
In his latest book, “Radical Together”, David Platt describes how the church he pastors (The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Alabama) did away with their community outreach programs. Instead their focus is on teaching everyone in their congregation to share Christ in their unique environments. The reasoning is that every day, each of us engage with people the church will never meet in places the church will never go. If all the focus was put into the programs of the church, the outreach would have a much more narrow focus. By equipping each individual to do outreach within their own circle of influence, the range of ministry is multiplied exponentially.
Of course, for a process like this to work, ordinary people like you and me must be willing to engage in the process. If you are a follower of Christ, you qualified to go and make disciples for Him. We have already been commissioned to do so (Matthew 28:19-20). Instead we are too often content to go and listen to the professionals bring the message and lead the music each Sunday morning. For the rest of the week we assume it is their job to lead others to Christ, or at least lead the programs that go out into our communities. This is not the Biblical model of disciple making. At best the argument can be made that Jesus sent His followers out in pairs, but again, His commission in Matthew 28:19 was a personal commission for each of His followers.
The church model of outreach has been largely ineffective in the grand scheme of things. If it were working we would not still have half the planet suffering in poverty and over a billion people looking starvation in the face. It’s easy to become prideful and defend the traditions of Christianity but the facts cannot be ignored. We have had over 200 years of never before seen prosperity and freedom within the church, and yet the mission of Christ remains largely undone. It is time that each of us rolls up our sleeves and be about the work we have been given to do. You don’t need to make your living doing some form of ministry to qualify; you need only be madly in love with the King of the Universe. You need not wait for the right program at church, because the program is already instilled within your heart.
We need churches that equip believers to go out into the world and share the love of Christ with those in their area. We need devoted followers of Christ to accept His commission and make disciples of those we meet. All that is required is a willing heart and a determination to be obedient to what God has given you to do. The power of Jesus lives within each of us who call Him Lord. You don’t need a title to make disciples.
Question: Is your church equipping you to make disciples or is the job being left to a select few with titles?