Missional Transformation is a process where believers align themselves (passions, desires, behaviors, habits) with the missionary purpose of Jesus.
Missional Transformation requires significant shifts in the way you participate with Christ and His kingdom.
SHIFT 2: From Decisions to Disciples
Many pastors and churches in America have placed an emphasis on the need for people to make a personal decision to become a Christian. Presentations of the gospel message and evangelistic sermons are geared toward leading a person to the point of making a decision to follow Christ. This decision is presented as a choice to accept Jesus as your Savior and the transaction is often completed by praying a prayer that verbally communicates this decision has been made. “I have decided to follow Jesus” has been sung across this nation by those who have made this most important choice.
Once a person decides to become a Christian, many churches offer discipleship programs and classes to help new converts understand more fully what it means to be a Christian. The curriculum is often used to help someone understand that they’ve made the right decision, as well as to understand the ramifications of that decision.
The Billy Graham Crusades have emphasized making a decision for Christ for over 50 years. Dr. Graham has faithfully presented the gospel and led untold numbers of people to make such a decision. This approach to evangelism in America has seen large numbers of conversions (decisions) over the past century. I praise God for those who have made genuine decisions – but unfortunately, many who have “prayed a prayer” have not fully surrendered to His leadership in their lives.
While Jesus often called me to follow Him (which obviously included a conscious decision to follow), His approach through His teaching and interaction with crowds did not focus on decisions but on discipleship. Jesus was a disciplemaker. That’s what He did. He started with non-disciples and invited them to follow Him. As they did, their lives were changed.
Jesus isn’t as interested in people making decisions as He is in making disciples. He made it clear after dying on the cross and rising from the dead that He wanted His disciples to become disciplemakers. Jesus was clear about this. He didn’t command them to lead people to decision or to pray a prayer, He commanded them to make disciples.
Missional Transformation isn’t about more decisions for Christ. It’s about more disciples of Christ. This is a necessary shift that must take place. It will have ramifications on the way we present the gospel, how new believers are encouraged in their new faith, and even on what gets counted on denominational statistical reports.
What if the focus of evangelistic activity shifted from leading someone to make a decision to leading someone to make disciples? What if the measure of our accomplishment didn’t focus on conversions but on everyone making disciplemakers? Who wouldn’t get excited about a church where everyone was engaged in Jesus’ mission by making disciples who make disciples
That’s what Missional Christianity is about! Decisions aren’t bad. Decisions aren’t wrong. People must repent of their sins and place their faith in Jesus and choose to follow Him and become disciplemakers.
Shifting your focus from making decisions to making disciples will increase the Church’s capacity to change your neighborhood, your community and your city!Is it your goal to lead people to make a decision for Christ or to make disciples of Christ?
How does this shift impact the way you share the gospel?