At the heart of disciple-making is the gospel, the good news of salvation that fuels us to live on mission together. In this devotional article, Ashley Reffit shares a brief preview of her breakout session “Women’s Discipleship — Gospel Above All,” to be featured at the upcoming Disciple-Making Conference on Feb. 27.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is, Love your neighbor as yourself. — Mark 12:30-31

Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” — Matthew 28:19-20

The Great Commandment and The Great Commission go hand in hand. These two are inextricably linked; they are integral parts of the body of Christ and disciple making. 

The Great Commandment fuels the Great Commission, as our love for the Lord leads us to love our neighbor. God’s love transforms us and compels us to love others, on mission together, with the gospel above all. 

As followers of Christ, we’re all called to go. “Go” is a simple verb that requires action; our action, our movement and our motivation. 

In the call to go, we often focus on the destination. The question we tend to ask is, “Where am I going?” We’re a results driven society; even within our churches we yearn to see resolution, redemption, restoration and revival. 

These are all good things. But we must first ask the question: “Why? Why do I go?” 

The gospel fuels the mission

Our going must begin with the gospel — God’s good news to us, for us and for the world. The Great Commission is encompassed by the gospel — God’s work in us and His work through us as we go and make disciples, the gospel above all. As Pastor J.D. Greear writes in his book Above All, “The gospel is the place we stay and never get tired of. The place we never stop learning, growing, and living.” 

The gospel calls us to go and make disciples — but it also calls us to stay, stay close to Him as we love the Lord with our heart, soul, mind and strength. 

The gospel must be the center of our lives, our churches and our ministries. As we seek to equip disciples through our local churches, we must equip them to study God’s Word, to seek Him in prayer and to send them out to serve Christ in their circles of influence. Ministry must be grounded in God’s Word. As authors Gloria Furman and Kathleen Nielson state, “God’s Word is powerful enough to be comprehensively equipping; this is His intention, and He will accomplish it.” 

Our programs must promote biblical literacy and provide disciples an opportunity to read, study and teach God’s Word. That’s how God’s Word works — it accomplishes what He purposes. 

Ministry must grow among God’s people. We are called to reach others for Christ, train others in Christ and serve with and alongside others for Christ. We’re called to live on mission together, in biblical community with fellow believers, and in gospel community intentionally living with those in our circles of influence. 

In their book Life on Mission, authors Dustin Willis and Aaron Coe write, “People who live on mission are always on the move towards others. They don’t wait for the world to come to them, they seek and find the people who have needs.” The gospel points us to a communal God who seeks to live in community with us. The gospel points us to live in community with others, in turn pointing them to God. 

Going and growing

Above all, discipleship aims for the glory of God. As we study His Word, as we seek to live among His people, we seek to live out the gospel above all for His glory. His glory is always for our good. It redeems us, it restores us and it unites us on mission together. We go to take the gospel, His good news, to His people for His glory. We go because the good news changes us, and we go because we know it is the only thing that can change those around us. 

Gospel going instinctively produces gospel growing. Discipleship leads to missions. Missions leads to evangelism. Evangelism leads to gospel growth and multiplication. Multiplication leads to discipleship, and the cycle continues. 

Discipleship begins with the gospel. We are called to be disciples, followers of Christ who continually study the One we follow. As a disciple, we are called to make disciples. We are students of His Word and we seek His will to reach a lost world. Reach, train, send and serve, on mission together. 

The gospel must be above all, in all of our churches, in every ministry, and in all of our lives. Are you willing to go? 

EDITOR’S NOTE – To learn more and register for the upcoming Disciple-Making Conference, visit disciplemakingconference.org.