Ready, Aim, Fire

Growing up I loved to shoot bow and arrows. I would draw a target on a hay bale or a card board box and do my best to hit the bull’s eye I had drawn. To shoot without having a target was not much fun. The flip side of that is if you don’t know what your aiming at you will hit it every time. Reminds me of some churches I know.

What are we aiming at as a church? What is the target, the goal, the bull’s-eye if you will? The target, according to the Founder of the church, Jesus in Matthew 28:16-20, is to “make disciples.” That is our target.

You know the phrase…Ready-Aim-Fire

Ready…That’s when you prepare yourself for going out to shoot. You might wear different clothes or a particular hat. You gather up all your equipment.

The aim is when everything is prepared and you are finally where you want to be, focusing on your target.

The last step is shoot or fire where we release the arrow or pull the trigger.

In the area of discipleship I find many churches that get ready and aim and aim and aim but they never seem to fire. They fell to launch or start. I want to encourage you to do more than just planning to do something…Start and do something to disciple your folks.

The Bible says…“Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.” (Eccl 11:4) NIV

The NLT translation reads like this, “If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done.”

Don’t wait for perfect conditions before starting your discipleship strategy because that will never happen. Prepare to do your best but by all means…fire!

As we do discipleship in our churches we need to get ready, aim, and fire.

Our target is to make disciples who make disciples who make disciples thus fulfilling the Great Commission.

What is a disciple? Being like Christ in every way 24/7. Discipleship is not a DVD series, a book, or filling in the blanks on a hand out. My definition is, “Discipleship is a step followed by a life-long walk of obedience to Jesus.” Many of our churches are good at the first step (leading someone to Christ) but we are lacking in the follow up and discipleship that should happen after a person trusts Christ.

Disciple- Making should be intentional and relational. It should be the heart of everything a church does.

The reason Jesus chose disciples, according to Mark 3:13-19, were for two main purposes.

1. fellowship “that they might be with Him.” This is the relational side of discipleship. It is also the side that demands the most time, energy, and commitment. Discipleship is not in a box or a book but in happens through relationships.

2. task (or mission)“send them out to preach.” This of course was after several years of training so they knew what to teach and preach, so there is not only a body of knowledge to learn but something to do.

The best resource for Disciple making is the Bible! There are lots of resources that can help but God’s Word is the source of growth for a disciple whether our method is  “one on one,” “one on a few,” or “one on many.”

The overarching objective is spiritual transformation: “God’s work of changing a believer into the likeness of Jesus by creating a new identity in Christ and by empowering a lifelong relationship of love, trust and obedience to glorify God.”

Is your church Ready? Aiming? Firing? If not now, when?

Keep the Son in your eyes,

Mike James

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