Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV)
Since we now know that we are to make disciples as we are going through life, what exactly is making a disciple? For many in the church today, making disciples is synonymous with making converts. However, there is a huge difference between the two. In order to be a disciple, one must be a convert. But in order to be a convert, one does not necessarily have to be a disciple.
In order to be a convert, one must simply be a follower of Jesus, and that is what most people in the twenty-first century church have become. However, they have not taken that further step in their walk in Christ or have not been given the opportunity to take that step.
In order to be a disciple, it requires one to become a student of one who has become mature in their faith. The difference is the person initiating the conversion takes an active role rather than a passive role. When one begins a new job, they are trained in order to be most effective in that role. Jesus not only commanded us do this, but he exemplified discipleship with his twelve disciples. If you would consider yourself just a convert, I would encourage you to find someone to disciple you. If you have been discipled and feel like you have been discipled well, I encourage you to find someone to disciple!
Prayer: God, thank you for reminding me of the difference between a convert and a disciple. Help me to become a disciple and then begin to disciple others. Show me the person in my life to disciple me or the person I should disciple. In Jesus name. Amen.