At Primary, we call on 2 Corinthians 5:17-21, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away. Behold, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting men’s trespasses against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ: Be reconciled to God. God made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”
Jesus took on all of our sin so that we might become the righteousness of God. This is such good news! He died for our sins because He wants to use us to reconcile the entire world — what a calling! We are His ambassadors made new through His Spirit to carry out His mission on the earth. This is why we make disciples, because it is our identity. Discipleship is not what we do, it’s who we are, and it is the primary identity of every son and every daughter of God.
We are loved by God because of what He did for us, and that is our identity. So many people live their lives assuming that what they do will determine who they are, but they have it backward! Who we are determines what we do, and Christians are called to be faithful disciples sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
At Primary, we walk alongside churches, ministries, small groups, and individuals to activate followers of Jesus to make disciples. As God continues to orchestrate relationships for us, we are proactively encouraging, equipping, and activating those we walk with to be disciple makers themselves so they, too, can reach their own networks, which means God’s Kingdom is growing every day.
One recent example of this is our relationship with Life Church in Sioux Falls. Through our partnership over the past nine months, we have hosted workshops that include coaching, training and modeling practices for them. Then, in turn, they implement and teach those practices within their small groups and church to help them grow. Their passion along the way has been tremendous. Pastors Dave Sinkgraven and Bill Carpenter have a Kingdom vision. They have always had a heart for the city and are willing to take the gospel of Jesus Christ to parts of the city where it doesn’t exist. It’s admirable work, and we are grateful to walk alongside them.
The driving force for us at Primary is the fact that 9 out of 10 Christians do not actively share their faith. Our training addresses the four main barriers that keep people from obeying the Great Commission by helping people understand why it is in our identity to be disciples, who God has put in our networks to begin praying for and sharing the Good News of Jesus with, what to say when we do have the opportunity to share, and when to prioritize a time of prayer and intentional discipleship into our busy schedules.
Like any discipline in life, discipleship is all about practicing — continuously sharing a love for Christ, praying in places where there is brokenness and seeking opportunity where there is need. We are all to be obedience-based disciples who prioritize Jesus Christ in our lives, and Primary offers the tools, training and accountability to successfully live that life.
If you love Jesus and believe that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life, then His Great Commission applies to you. How are you doing in regards to this directive? Has your heart been stirred to share the gospel with someone? Have you been obedient to that prompting or are there barriers keeping you from sharing? Have you been praying for and loving your neighbors?
We believe that fulfilling the Great Commission will not be because of greater knowledge or profound strategies but because of greater obedience and greater dependence on the Holy Spirit. If your heart is broken for the lost, if you have a God-sized Kingdom vision and you are desiring to work together to fulfill the Great Commission…we want to run with you!
Justin Vandewater and Todd Boote