I am excited about the release of the book titled 4 Invitations: How the Four Disciple-Making Invitations of Jesus Can Help You Be a Disciple Who Makes Disciples, by Mark Gainey.
I had the privilege of working with Mark on the development of the book. The journey began in a restaurant in Fultondale. Over barbecue, Mark, Andy Frazier and I began talking about the need to help leaders develop a disciple’s path that responds to the design Jesus gave through four invitations He extended in calling and making disciples.
The initial work looks at all four invitations in a practical, applicable way: Come and See, Be with Me, Follow Me, and Abide in Me. Over the coming years, the hope is to focus individually and carefully on each invitation.
In the meantime, I will share my thoughts through a series of blogs that I hope will help you build or refine a disciple’s path for your church.
- Come and See is the invitation that relates best to large gatherings where the focus is to help people explore the claims of Christ and to know Him as Savior and Lord (John 20:30-31).
- Be with Me relates to groups. It is the invitation Jesus used in creating a group that will enable people to become a disciple that can be sent on THE mission (Mark 3:13-15).
- Follow Me is the invitation Jesus used to call from the group a smaller number of men to guide toward disciple-making: being a disciple who makes disciples that will make disciples until He returns (Mark 1:17, Mark 8:34, Matthew 28:19-20).
- Finally, Abide in Me reminds the disciple that apart from God fruit will not come. Only as we abide in Him will we bear fruit that remains (John 15:4-5,8).
Four key words are in bold above to help you think about where your church needs to focus. Is it in worship gatherings (Come and See) or Sunday School/groups (Be with Me)?
The starting place is always Abide in Me. The disciple-making movement in a church begins with a pastor abiding in and obeying God. In turn, the pastor reaches out to a few men so that together they abide and obey.
Slowly this movement will transform or re-engineer groups. In addition, worship gatherings will become authentic and transformative.
Hear His invitation and let the disciple-making movement begin in you.
State Missionary Daniel Edmonds is director of the Office of Sunday School & Discipleship.