Poet Mary Oliver has said, “Attention is the beginning of devotion.” While Oliver was not a Christian, she was certainly right in her assertion. What you focus on becomes what you love. The formative nature of focus is why the author of Hebrews tells us to “Fix our eyes on Jesus” (Heb 12:1). But focusing on Christ is easier said than done. When Jesus called Peter to walk on the water, Peter was steady when he fixed his eyes on Christ (Matt 14:29). But as soon as Peter took his eyes off of Jesus and began to focus on the storm around him, he sank (Matt 14:30).
So many things can pull our attention off of Jesus, especially right now. The stakes are high because if we focus on the wrong things, we can begin to sink too. But if we concentrate upon the Lord, we will be steady even in the storm. As leaders within Christ’s church, we must remain laser-focused on the mission of Christ: to make disciples. We are followers of Jesus who are being changed by Jesus on mission for Jesus.
Focusing on making disciples should prompt us to ask a few questions of ourselves. First, we must ask ourselves, “Who am I discipling?” We all should have people that we’re sharing life with and sharing the word with. If you answer the question of who you’re discipling with “no one right now,” then you have work to do. You need to find someone and disciple them.
Another way of asking the question is like this: “If I were hit by a bus tomorrow, who would lead my Group/Ministry?” If the answer is, “No one,” then you have work to do. But guess what? If you answer the question, “There’s three people who can lead the Group/Ministry”…then you have work to do! What work? Planting new Groups and developing those disciples to be disciple-makers who make more disciples. The mission of Christ spreads as new Groups form. As new Groups form, they provide more context for sharing Jesus with unbelievers and growing new believers.
Stay focused on the mission: We are disciples who make disciples.