With Authority Comes Great Responsibility

We have heard the Great Commission from Matthew 28:18-20 being preached many times and often the final line, “Go and make disciples” is emphasized.

Without a doubt, that’s the mandate for Christians- to extend the frontiers of the kingdom through discipleship!

However, the problem of giving this charge is that we often overlook the process of getting there. And this process denotes that we need to be a true disciples ourselves first before becoming a disciple-maker.

Creating more value in discipleship

Discipleship is a process of reproducing more disciples. In doing so, we are reproducing more of ourselves and it is safe to say that a disciple can only get as strong as his mentor.

No offence to anyone but can a person with a highest education of PSLE be an educator for a university? Or can a person who doesn’t know how to swim coach others in swimming? Imagine the consequences.

High likely, the university students would not be adequately equipped and enter the workforce poorly informed and unable to perform to the market’s demands. In the case of swimming, chances are that those students would not be top swimmers or worse, some might even drown.

Similarly, if we truly want to participant in the Great Commission and make true disciples, then we should first resolute to be a credible disciple of Jesus as we embark on being a disciple-maker; one that walks the talk in obeying all of God’s commands in our lives before teaching others to do so.

Qualities for value-add

Albeit discipleship is a tall order,  we need not be perfect before we can start discipling others. Cos we can never be fully perfect, but we can work towards perfection in our obedience and faith in God.

In working towards being a disciple-maker for Christ,  we should exhibit some minimal qualities as a disciple below:

  • A unwavering passion for God, His Church and the lost
  • Good knowledge and understanding of His word
  • A healthy self-esteem in God to lead and serve
  • Having some basic counselling skills
  • A sound and balanced worldview 
  • Ever-learning and desiring to grow
  • Good basic inter-personal skills

Responsible discipleship

Discipleship is God’s business and is a serious business cos it concerns lives of people that God had redeemed. Their destiny and future are many of times shaped by what we teach (or don’t teach) on important areas such as marriage life or BGR matters, our careers, finances, ministry etc…

For that reason, I believe the responsibility rests on our shoulders as a disciple of Jesus to develop and train ourselves fully towards being a relevant and value-added disciple-maker in our lifetime.

Let’s aim to be a ‘springboard’ and a platform high enough for others to take their growth to the next level. If not, we will become a ‘stumbling block’ or a ‘glass ceiling’ in stunning their potential and growth.

9 thoughts on “With Authority Comes Great Responsibility

  1. “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the Nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Mat 28:19-20(NLT)

    Andrew, why do you think is the emphasis on All nations, rather than in your own nation?

    Mat 10:24 “A student is not greater than the teacher. A servant is not greater than the master.”

    A mentor may not be perfect like Christ, but he/she should be fruitful in Christ & willing to surrender All his/her flaws to Him & allow Him the painful process of being pruned/moulded(John15.2-3) each & every day first.

    Otherwise an impatient,bad tempered mentor will lead to an impatient, bad tempered disciple as truly, a disciple cannot be greater than his human mentor.

    Luk 6:42 How can you think of saying, `Friend, let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,’ when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log from your own eye; then perhaps you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye. (NLT)

    Truly, there are too many “unfruitful” mentors trying to produce “fruitful” disciples these days.

    “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned for greater fruitfulness by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful apart from me. “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who parts from me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you stay joined to me and my Words Remain in You, you may ask any request you like, and it will be granted! My true disciples produce much fruit. This brings great glory to my Father. John15:1-8(NLT)

  2. joe:

    Err… would you think ALL nations includes the nation that we are born in?

    God sent His Son to the world so I am sure every nation is in His redeemptive plans.

    This is my own paraphrasing of Acts 1:8

    “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem (Singapore), and in all Judea and Samaria (Asia), and to the ends of the earth.”

    I believe some are going-ers, senders, and supporters in the Great Commission. We need to work as a unified body with our gifts and different roles as evangelists, teachers, pastors, prophets and apostles in doing missions.

    If all go out, then who cover the base? For instance, if the US send ALL their troops to Iraq for war, then who will defend their country?

    I believe Jesus was not just emphasising on geographical influence but also in terms of cultural influence especially so since we all now living in an almost borderless world.

  3. In today’s almost borderless world, it would seem strange for the majority to cover the base, and send only a few overseas to fight the war.

    Do you think Mat 28:19-20 is only for a select few or for every true disciple of Jesus’ Word?

    Here is a list of some of the members that God has placed in the body of Christ: first are apostles, second are prophets, third are teachers, then those who do miracles, those who have the gift of healing, those who can help others, those who can get others to work together, those who speak in unknown languages.
    Is everyone an apostle? Of course not. Is everyone a prophet? No. Are all teachers? Does everyone have the power to do miracles? 1Cr12:28-29 (NLT)

    All are supposed to be a part of the body of CHrist. It is strange today that we have self-appointed Super-apostles who is all-in-one, teacher,pastor,apostle, prophet & miracle worker.

    If your paraphrasing of Acts 1:8 is correct, why do most pp never ever venture out of their home base? Self-preservation?

    Mark 6:4 But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.

  4. well..bro, i beg to differ.. in Gospels when Jesus called upon pple to follow him, he did not call upon scholars nor widely succesful pple.. he chose fisherman. lowly fisherman.

    Secondly a disciple is as strong as his mentor. but being a good mentor, you would strive to improve and excel on an everyday basis. so to say that a disciple is only as strong as the mentor is a pretty myopic view of the situation. pple do grow.

    God looks beyond the skills-set and talents of each individual and uses us according to his best.

    its true that a PSLE Cert holder cannot be a university lecturer. Coz he lacks of the education and scholarly aspects. But i do tink that he could be a very successful person in other aspects fo his life. Not everyone is cut out to be a scholar. or a degree holder.

    Lastly entering the workforce is subjective. In life, you choose between a career or a job. I chose job.

    I do agree with this “Similarly, if we truly want to participant in the Great Commission and make true disciples, then we should first resolute to be a credible disciple of Jesus as we embark on being a disciple-maker; one that walks the talk in obeying all of God’s commands in our lives before teaching others to do so.”

    end of day, we just need to get our own lives right with God and walk to silence the talk.

    Credibility are everything in the eyes of men, But filthy rags before God.

  5. JX:

    Hey bro, thanks for your honest views =)

    In principle and fundamentally I fully agree with you as you can see my list of qualities that I never put any qualifications like Masters of Theology etc…

    On your second point, I also agree with you that ppl do grow, but if only those ppl who are under that leader wanna grow or else they will do what the leader is doing.

    But actually, I believe you must have worked under an insecure and incompetent boss before. How did you feel? What did you do?

    For me, I resolved in my heart with God never to be such a hindrance to others’ progress around me but value-add instead. Cos not only am I accountable to God, I am equally accountable to those around me as well; how I live my life affects those around me.

    As you said, “end of day, we just need to get our own lives right with God and walk to silence the talk.”

    That’s why I believe it boils down to each own- personal calling.

    Between Peter and Paul, both fundamentally were all out for God which God chose due to their attitude.

    But you cannot deny that Paul’s credentials as a Roman citizen, being educated by the one of the greatest teachers of the law etc… was greatly used by God to write the Epistles, exposition of scriptures, engaging the marketplace and Gentiles and the planting so many churches that we now follow after his tent-making model.

    Likewise, that is why some remain SMEs and never grow towards being MNCs in the business community. Capabilities do play a part to differentiate.

    However, it all depends on individuals on their level aspirations and the size of their vision.

    On a last note, my entry is not to put down any “lowly” person cos who am I… I am also lowly and I mean it. I know my roots.

    My entry is meant to challenge us to a higher level so that we can be used by God even more and contribute more too. That’s my thrust.

    But I still accept and respect that the Body do have different parts. Maybe some high and some low.

    As said by Paul in 2 Timothy 2….

    20In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. 21If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

    Why can’t all of us strive to be instruments of noble purposes?

  6. Hey dear bro! “On a last note, my entry is not to put down any “lowly” person cos who am I… I am also lowly and I mean it. I know my roots.”

    These words really touched me a lot. 🙂 Hee. That is a very powerful statement, especially since it came from you.

    It’s very thought-provoking – I’ve been pondering and praying a lot about it the past few days.

  7. yup..its juz my2centz worth..

    Answering your QNs..

    “But actually, I believe you must have worked under an insecure and incompetent boss before. How did you feel? What did you do?

    Yup. i did encounter such a boss b4. What i did was to address the insecurities. like wat caused it to happen, what are the trigger points, how to minimise his insecurities. End of day, i learnt to live or rather co-exist with his insecurities.

    Each of us are wired up differently hence the unique individual. But underlying all these diffferences we all must learn to look towards God. As he is the ultimate leader and shepherd fo our lives. Our human leaders adn shepherds are mere tools of His message and thoughts. nothing beats getting a rhema word.

    and to clarify, i never said/ meant to implyy watosever that ur entry is putting down any “lowly” person. coz i was juz trying to put my point across mah.. =)

    Take care bro. Cya ard

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