As one theologian puts it, making disciples in Matthew 28:16-20 is two-fold and involves: Christian evangelism and Christian education. The call to “go” or “move out” is to evangelize, live and listen to individuals who subscribe to another belief system. These people have caricatures of Christianity for any number of reasons. Bridges need to be built, trust needs to be earned and many will want to see the Church tangibly making a difference in the community: caring for the poor and advocating for justice. The work of making disciples also involves teaching people all of Jesus’ commands. It’s a call to share life with them, to educate them and bring them along gently in the gospel of grace.
Of course you and I will need tremendous help to make disciples. We’re finite, timid, hesitant and anxious but, we find strength that all authority on heaven and on earth has been given to our risen Lord. Jesus conquered the grave and does all the heavy lifting. He brings about change in a persons life, he converts, he transforms. Jesus not only does the heavy lifting but he divinely enables us to make disciples with the assurance of his presence: “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”