“Now while (Paul and Silas) were passing through the cities, they were delivering the decrees which had been decided upon by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem, for them to observe. So the churches were being strengthened in the faith, and were increasing in number daily.” – Acts 16:4-5
Paul and Silas were influential leaders of the early church who traveled and shared the Gospel. Wherever they went, they saw new disciples in a growing church. In Acts, we read that Paul also focused on teaching new believers what it meant to be a follower of Jesus – what it meant to be a disciple. This process of teaching new believers how to walk with Christ is called ‘discipling.’ And this mission of sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ and walking alongside new believers remains the church’s primary mission today.
Is your small group or church seeing people come to faith? Keep in mind that Bible study isn’t meant simply to ‘learn’ the Bible and have Christian fellowship. Those are two very important aspects of Church and Bible study; however, the primary purpose is to make disciples. If you’re not having Gospel conversations with people who don’t know Jesus as Savior and Lord, then you’ve really become another religious club or “holy huddle” within the church. You’ve forgotten the mission Christ gave the church.
Remember His mission: Go into the world and share the Good News of Jesus. And when some respond to Jesus in faith, teach them how to live it out (My Paraphrase of Matthew 28:19). Have you forgotten?
Have you ignored or forgotten the mission? For the follower of Jesus (especially those active and committed to regular Bible study), ask God’s forgiveness. Those who are in regular Bible study, yet never share their faith are like so called “fishermen” who attend class week after week learning how to fish, but never actually go fishing. It’s time to finally go fishing.