If I were to ask you what the goal of ministry is, what would you say?  While there are dozens of correct answers, I would guess that the most common response would be “to tell people about Jesus” or some variation of that.  We seek to introduce people to Jesus, show them His love, tell them what He has done for us, and pray that they choose to enter a relationship with Him.

When people choose Christ, that is always a joyous occasion.  They are cleansed of their sins and born again, receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit.  Hallelujah!  That is what ministry is all about.  Or is it?

While coming into a relationship with Jesus is the greatest decision anyone could ever make, there is a problem with the way seasoned Christians look at it.  When we are in the trenches of the witness zone and someone accepts Christ, we rejoice (as we should) and celebrate victory.  Unfortunately, we view that victory as the finish line.  We act like our work is done with that person.  However, we could not be further from the truth.

What we treat like an ending should actually be viewed as a beginning.  When Jesus gave the great commission, He told His followers to make disciples of all nations.  He did not simply tell them to make believers of all nations. 

Helping people grow closer to Jesus and learn more about what it means follow Him is our responsibility.  If we abandon people once they accept the gift of salvation, we are doing them a disservice and ignoring a huge part of our Christian duty. 

We need to stop assuming that it is the responsibility of professional staff to help people become faithful disciples.  Not only are we held accountable to God for obeying this command, but we are also responsible to each other for the spiritual development of fellow Christians.  We need to stop treating salvation as the end of our ministry, and realize that it is only the beginning.

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