While we’re all in this world of social distance and stay-at-home orders, it doesn’t mean that we can’t still do what Jesus has called us to do. In fact, given the reality that we don’t know how long various suppression measures may stay in place, it’s crucial for us to consider how to fulfill the Great Commission even from your own home.
Changing the Metaphor: Fishing Boats to Ice-Fishing
Before I give some extremely simple steps to making this happen, we have to change our mental image of disciple-making. Jesus gave us the image of “fishing for men” as a metaphor for making disciples. It’s a great image, but there are a lot of ways to catch fish.
If you’ve been around church life for a while, you probably think about “making disciples” in terms of bringing people to Sunday services. They hear the gospel there, then they become Christians, and then the church (pastors & the organization) help them grow as disciples.
I’ll call it the fishing boat model.
Off every coast of every beach I’ve ever been too, there have been fishing boats dragging huge nets through the water. I don’t know what fish they are catching, but it’s a big operation hauling in loads of fish into this single boat. The Christian equivalent is the megachurch with big crowds and lots of fish. We love seeing lots of new disciples, but what happens if you have a frozen lake instead?
Enter our new model: ice-fishing.
We can’t invite people to the “boat,” so we’ll have to fish at whatever part of the frozen lake we’re stuck (aka, your apartment or house). Maybe this sounds daunting to you, but I actually think it’s a great opportunity for joining God in what he’s already doing. These 6 steps are incredibly simple, but it’s an effective way to make disciples in an ice-fishing world.
6 Steps to Make Disciples Now:
Making disciples is really simple, so I’ll keep this list simple, too.
- Write down 3-5 names: Specifically ask God to give you the right names of people who are close to you but far from God. Keep the list with you (or on your phone).
- Pray for them: Pray for each name every day for 1-7 days. Set an alarm on your phone as a reminder.
- Plan an invitation time: Set a time on your calendar when you’ll text each person. Do it before this time next week.
- Text them: At your pre-scheduled time, text this sentence to them: “Would you be interested in reading the Bible with me?”
- Schedule a Zoom call: When at least one person says yes, schedule a 30-45 minute Zoom call with them to read together.
- Study the Bible: At the zoom call, read the Bible together. If you don’t have a passage you want to study, I recommend either the 7 Signs of John or 7 Stories of Hope.
When you’re in your group, don’t worry if the conversation goes a direction you didn’t expect. If you (a) check in on people and show you care, (b) open the Bible and discuss it together, (c) encourage some next step during the week before you meet again next time, you’re in great shape.
Let the Word of God do the rest.
For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.Isaiah 55:10-11
For a practical model of how to do this, three men from Cypress recorded a short example as a model to see what this looks like in action. No preparation was needed. We simply checked in on each other and did the first of the 7 Signs of John.