When Christians think about the Great Commission, the emphasis is often put on the word “Go.” We long to reach the nations with the Gospel of Christ, but our mission is not merely to go. Look at the words of the Great Commission: Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:18–20, NIV, bold added). Just as much as GO is a command, so is MAKE DISCIPLES.
Discipleship can be formal or informal, but the goal is always to influence and lead others toward deeper obedience and love for Christ.
This command might seem daunting, especially for women who juggle so much already. Here are a few ways that you can be a disciple-maker in your daily activities.
1. Be in love with Christ. Before we are called to be a wife, a mother, an employee, a student, or a friend, we are called to be a follower of Christ. Our words and actions should display devotion to the One who has redeemed and restored us. Remember the great command found in Matthew 22:36–38: Jesus was asked, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment” (ESV).
Loving Jesus determines how we spend our time, finances, and energy. Every thought, word, and deed should demonstrate our love for Him. What would your checkbook or your calendar show as your first love? To make disciples, we must begin with a love for our Savior.
2. Be selfless in your love for others. We are called not only to love God wholeheartedly, but also to love those around us. Jesus continues in Matthew 22:39, And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself (ESV). We don’t love others because they deserve it or because they can give us something in return, but because we have been lavishly loved by God. God’s Word promises that when we love selflessly, we will be different from the world around us: By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another (John 13:35, ESV). How can you love others more selflessly? Is there someone who needs a home-cooked meal or a friend to listen over coffee? Do you know someone who could use a kind word or reminder that they are loved by God? To make disciples, we must be the hands and feet of Jesus to those around us.
3. Be faithful and live a life worth imitating. Never forget whose you are. Christ loved you. He saved you. Because of what He has done for us, we are called to display His character for all to see. The Bible states in James 2:17, Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead (NIV). Our faith in Christ must display itself genuinely in our words and actions, in such a way that others will want to imitate us. Are you a woman who shows others the value and importance of prayer? Are you a woman who is recognized for your work ethic and loyalty? Are you a woman who is hospitable and friendly to those you meet? To make disciples, our lives must genuinely reflect Christ and be worthy of imitation.
4. Be intentional with other women. We are commanded not only to be faithful in our actions, but also to teach other women how to be godly. Titus 2:3–5 says, Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the Word of God may not be reviled (ESV). We must be intentional in teaching sound doctrine and modeling the spiritual disciplines of prayer, giving, and submission. Over your playdates, can you encourage another mom to love her husband and children more? In your work break, can you help another wife stay committed to her marriage? Is there a younger woman who could use help in learning how to study her Bible? To make disciples, we must be intentional.
We often want formulas, Bible studies, or books to teach us exactly how to disciple others. But Jesus shows us the example of a daily disciple-maker. He had a small group of twelve men that saw His daily activities, asked Him questions, and imitated what He did.
We should be faithful to the command of the Great Commission, not only to GO but also to MAKE DISCIPLES, wherever God has us.
Tara Dew lives in New Orleans, Louisiana, where her husband Jamie serves as the ninth president of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. They are the parents of two sets of twins—Natalie and Nathan, Samantha and Samuel. Tara holds a Doctor of Education degree from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary that is focused on the preparedness of pastors’ wives. An earlier version of this article appeared at Women Around Southeastern (womenaroundse.com).