Disciple-making should be the DNA of the whole church.
That the crucified and risen Jesus Christ reigns over all as the Saviour, Lord and Judge of the world;
That the most pressing problem facing humanity is our total lostness in sin, and our guilt before the judgement throne of God;
That God’s climactic purpose in history is to glorify his Son by delivering forgiven sinners out of darkness into his kingdom and transforming them into his image; in the words of the Great Commission, it is to see people from every nation become disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ and learn to obey all that he has commanded;
That God’s chosen method for both conversion and growth is the prayerful, Spirit-backed speaking of the Word of the Cross—the biblical message that centres on the penal substitutionary atonement of Jesus, and his universal rule as the Risen Lord and Christ;
That this task of evangelizing the world and edifying the church is not only the role of preachers, pastors and evangelists, but of all God’s people as they are trained and equipped to speak God’s word to others;
That our involvement in this work of God should be the central priority of our lives as disciples of Jesus and of our churches as loving fellowships of disciple-making disciples;
That as we seek to fulfil this commission, the theology of the all-sufficient Scriptures should shape and drive all that we do, especially as we utilise methods and structures derived from wisdom;
That our joy in this work will come in the midst of suffering, conflict and opposition from the world and the devil, as we await the return of Christ at the end of the age.
HOWEVER, LOOKING AROUND US, EVEN AMONG THOSE WHO WOULD LAY CLAIM TO MOST OR ALL OF THE ABOVE CONVICTIONS, WE ARE CONCERNED TO SEE:
- Millions lost in sin and facing God’s judgement; and yet a widespread lack of evangelistic vision and urgency in many churches, where much of the available energy and resources are expended in various worthy programs to improve church life or to bless society, but where a lack of conversions is accepted with complacency;
- A lowering of the bar for everyday Christians, who are not being radicalized and equipped as godly disciple-makers but often simply served as spiritual consumers, or deployed to help run programs that produce little gospel fruit;
- A loss of momentum in recruiting and training the next generation of full-time gospel-workers;
Among leaders, a lack of vision, boldness, flexibility and skill to plan and grow ministries around disciple-making;
- A theologically undiscerning pragmatism that takes core evangelical truths for granted, fails to see the link between theology and practice, and falls captive to the latest trends.
SO UNDER GOD, AND IN FELLOWSHIP WITH ONE ANOTHER, WE WANT TO ACHIEVE THE FOLLOWING:
- A renewed urgency among Christ’s people to reach out with the gospel to our neighborhoods, communities and beyond—to make disciples, to plant new churches and ministries, to revitalize and grow existing churches, to see by God’s blessing multitudes of new and growing believers giving glory to his name;
- To revolutionize and equip all Christians to be holy, prayerful, Spirit-filled disciple-makers; who abound in love and good works, who speak God’s truth to those around them, and who work hard to see God’s kingdom grow in both breadth and depth, whatever the cost;
- To persuade ministry leaders to embrace this Bible-centred, prayerful, disciple-making vision, and to express that commitment in their personal lives and in their ministries;
- To equip ministry leaders with fresh enthusiasm, knowledge and skills not only to preach the cross, but to train their people as disciple-makers, and to change church culture, structures and practices in order to make disciples;
- To see a new generation of appropriately gifted leaders recruited and equipped with the vision and skills to lead God’s people in this task.