Until we are making disciples, every other ministry effort--whether feeding the homeless, crisis pregnancy centers, prison ministry, racial reconciliation, abuse counseling, divorce recovery, or programs for troubled youth--is like treating the symptoms of football concussions without trying to reduce the number of concussions in the first place.
Yet we see it all the time. Why? Because an actual injury evokes more sense of urgency than an injury prevented.
Granted, we need more ministries to the broken parts. Treating concussions and setting broken bones is urgent work that must be done. But how much better if we could prevent more of those injuries from ever happening in the first place?
We need both:
Justice and Mercy ministries that heal broken lives.
Disciple-making ministries that equip men, women, and children to follow Jesus and live lives of faith, love, and service.
Justice and Mercy ministries treat a lot of problems.
Disciple-making ministries help prevent a lot of those problems from happening in the first place.
Can there ever be a more just and merciful world without disciples?
Ultimately, nothing will work the way God intended it to work if making disciples fails.