By Josh Gores
Make disciples who make disciples. If you’re at all familiar with Riverlawn, you know that this is what we’re all about. We teach it from the pulpit, it’s found its way onto signs throughout our campus, it’s a guiding principle in our budget, and it’s ingrained in the ministries and activities that we lead and participate in. More than a phrase or a fancy idea, it’s a part of who we are at Riverlawn; a core part of our identity as a church.
This isn’t an original idea or something that’s unique to Riverlawn; it’s something that we take straight from our Savior’s mouth.
“And Jesus said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’” –Matthew 28:18-20
At Riverlawn, we see the disciple making process play out across three platforms: follow, change, and mission.
Everything we say and do rises and falls on the complete work of Jesus Christ. When it comes to disciple making, we set our eyes on the author and perfecter of our faith, the one who has all authority to give us this great calling. We seek to follow the example that He has set before us. Being a disciple who makes disciples begins with following Jesus.
Be Changed by Jesus
As we seek to follow Jesus, we become changed by Jesus. Through the work of the Word and the Holy Spirit, we are transformed. The gospel message is heard and begins to take root in our lives. No longer dead in our sins and trespasses, we now have life. The ways in which we once thought, acted, and lived are no longer what defines us. Cleansed by the blood of Christ, we now walk anew in the righteousness that He has imputed upon us.
Commit to the Mission of Jesus
Jesus has given His bride, the church, the mission of disciple making. Sustained by the gospel message, the disciple jumps all in to the mission of disciple making. We begin to orient our relationships, our finances, our very lives around the mission. We begin to think critically about how we can leverage all that God has given us (our hobbies, our personalities, our gifting, and our material blessings) around the gospel in order to live out the mission.
Riverlawn seeks to bring God glory by making disciples who make disciples. This isn’t a call for a select few but a mission for the many. If you’ve been saved by the blood of Jesus, if you’re a follower of Christ, this is your mission. In his book, Gaining by Losing, J.D. Greear writes, “The question, you see, is not if we are called to pour out our lives for mission, only where and how.” The end goal is the glory of God in all things, the means by which we seek this most- making disciples who make disciples. That’s why we’re passionate about planting churches, in our own community and around the world. That’s why we get all giddy when people come forward to profess obedience to Christ through baptism or when students go to build houses in Mexico. It’s why we have a block party trailer or partner with our city in great acts of community service.