Disciplemaking teachers view Jesus’ command to make disciples as an imperative, not an option. And, they understand that it involves an investment into the lives of their students — all students, not just ones they like or feel comfortable teaching.
The Great Commission doesn’t just say “go and make disciples” but rather adds “of all nations” (Matt. 28:19).
The Significance of Making Disciples of All Nations
God’s end-time plan includes disciples of all nations (ethnos). Of a revelation John had, he wrote “and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb” (Rev. 7:9). Consequently, the gospel must be preached “in the whole world as a testimony to all nations” before the end will come (Matt. 24:14).
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth. (Act. 1:8)
The objective of going, according to Matthew 28:19, wasn’t just to preach or witness but to make disciples — people “from every nation, tribe, people and language” who put their trust in Christ for salvation who then become fully devoted followers of Jesus. Disciples were to be made of each and every (all) people groups (tribes, nations).
Disciplemaking Teachers Must Therefore Have Inclusive Classrooms to Truly Follow Jesus’ Imperative
While Bible teachers may not literally go to the ends of the earth, they might have people come into their classroom from different people groups. While they could be from other countries, they could also be from within your country but of a different race or cultural background. They could be people with special needs, whether mental, social, or physical.
Bible teachers should ask themselves some questions:
- Do people different from you, and the majority of your class, feel welcomed and accepted?
- Are you willing to make adjustments, if needed, to accommodate all?
- Do you take time to learn about the different people groups who might grace your classroom so you can better reach and teach them?
- Are you willing to invest into the lives of people different from you?