Making disciples is a team effort between us and God. The better we understand our respective roles, the greater chance we will have of seeing disciple making movements.
One way of clarifying our role is by determining what it is not. With that in mind, listen to what Jesus says about his role and that of the Father:
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. It is written in the Prophets: “They will all be taught by God.” Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me (John 6:44-45).
Two roles are clear in this passage:
- It is the role of God the Father to draw people to Jesus. He does this by teaching them.
- It is the role of Jesus to save those who have been drawn to him by the Father. These are those who have heard and learned from the Father.
So where does this leave us?
There is no better teacher than God and no other Savior than Jesus, yet we are still called to make disciples of all peoples. How do we do that without assuming the role of teacher or savior?
Perhaps our role is to help people hear God. Nothing more, nothing less. (How we might do that will be the subject of a future post.)