The past weeks have been very delightful, but also very busy. Increasingly, I am becoming aware of the fact that the Great Commission does not only include the evangelization of the lost, but also the discipleship of new believers, “teaching them to observe all that I commanded you” (Matthew 28:20). We are wanting to put forth more effort in this area of the Great Commission, teaching and instructing the new brothers and sisters in our midst, “for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the Body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12).

The need to disciple new believers is ever increasing, but I find immense joy and abundant hope with regard to the fruit the Lord will bring forth through these efforts. There is great effort required, but we rest in the power of God and abundant divine provision that He gives us by His grace, granting us His Spirit. The words of Jesus have given me great comfort and encouragement: “And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20). He assures us of His presence as we carry out this work of announcing His Gospel and making disciples. Also, the words of Paul in Colossians 1:28-29 are a source of encouragement: “We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.” The strength that we need to carry out this task does not come from us, but from Christ, who works mightily in us, equipping us by His Spirit.

A few weeks ago we had a retreat with the men from the church. We shared very precious moments of fellowship and recreation that has helped us get to know one another better, and open up our hearts a little more one with another. Times like this, without a doubt, strengthen our fellowship as brothers, and it also provides with a needed opportunity to rest.

In the midst of the retreat, some of the brothers shared their burden and desire to devote themselves more to service in the church, serving the Lord with the gifts He has given them. They showed a sincere concern for the well-being of the brothers and sisters in the congregation. We agreed to meet together regularly to study the Scriptures and seek the Lord in prayer together, asking Him, as our Father, to lead us in all truth by His Spirit. We want to rely entirely on Him and plead with Him for His direction in every step we take. It was clear that the Lord is granting us a strong desire to serve Him together for His glory and the benefit of His people, the Church that Christ bought with His blood.