How do you carry out discipleship and evangelism in your church?
First of all, we are an unapologetically preaching and teaching church. That is the starting place for us, and it’s key to the disciple-making process.
The Great Commission teaches us that we are to go and make disciples of all the nations, then mark them as disciples by baptizing them, and then after that, it’s just one long process of “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:18–20). There are a lot of things that churches get involved in to draw crowds, but to make disciples there must be a heavy emphasis on teaching the Word of God.
I also think that the emphasis in the Great Commission is life-on-life discipleship. It is not to teach them to fill up a notebook or to learn a body of knowledge. The goal of the teaching, Jesus says in the Great Commission, is to teach them “to observe,” or “to obey,” or “to practice,” or “to live,” “all that I have commanded you.” There is a sense in which this is life-on-life discipleship: “You all have walked and talked with me. I have laid down these commandments, so you are to pass them on.”
In terms of disciple-making, we try to do those two things. Our public meetings for worship emphasize the teaching of God’s Word, and we also have settings where we are encouraging fellowship around the Word of God in Bible study fellowship groups. There, life-on-life, the saints are learning to pray together and serve one another in the context of fellowship around the Word of God.
This transcript is from a live Ask Ligonier event with H.B. Charles Jr. and has been lightly edited for readability. To ask Ligonier a biblical or theological question, just visit Ask.Ligonier.org or message us on Facebook or Twitter.