“When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.” – Acts 4:13 (NIV).
When we really begin to look honestly at some of the people in the Bible and take them down off the stained-glass pedestals we sometimes place them on, it becomes obvious that God did extraordinary things through ordinary, regular people. We seem to think that God will only use superstars. Nothing is further from the truth.
The scriptures are full of common, ordinary people called by God to do something special for Him. Moses was living on the backside of the desert, a total failure as the prince of Egypt, and God called him to deliver a nation. When Goliath was taunting the Israelites, everyone discounted David, a teenage shepherd boy. But God didn’t! And David defeated the giant and became the king of a nation. The Acts 4 Bible passage (above) was written right after Peter and John healed the crippled man outside the temple. The Bible tells us that Peter and John were looked at as unschooled, ordinary men.
Do you see the pattern here? God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things. He uses improbable men and women who have nothing of their own to offer, but their faithfulness and willingness to say “yes.”
How could God use you? Look at your situation and your surroundings. Perhaps God has placed you in your school, your job, your family, or your neighborhood to do something special for Him. Before Jesus ascended, He explained the mission that awaited His followers after He returned to His heavenly Father; making disciples. “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19) The heart of our mission individually and corporately as a church is making disciples who make disciples.
“Making disciples” does not mean just bringing others to a one-time “moment of decision.” It involves continued learning together, growing together, and increasingly understanding what God has done in sending Jesus to die for our sin and calling us to serve Him. We should regularly ask ourselves whom God has in mind for us to meet as we go along. We seek to make disciples of our children, our neighbors, our co-workers, our whole world. The same goes for church planting. That’s because we are discipling others—and being discipled by others—as we plant a church.
Church planting is not merely the end of the line for the disciple-making process. Rather, church planting is an aspect of, and catalyst for, the church’s disciple-making mission.
- Is the idea that God uses ordinary people different from what you had learned or assumed was the plan?
- Do you believe it is hard to make disciples? Yes or no and why?