Go and Make Disciples

My neighbor Jeff was baptized a couple weekends ago. It was so cool to watch God’s grace transform his life.

We’ve known each other for about seven years or so, and I had invited him to church a few times over the years. But he went through some rough times in his personal life more recently and was chatting with me about it. We decided to meet up for coffee. As he was telling me about some of the challenges he was going through I said, “you know it’s amazing because THIS Sunday the sermon is going to be ‘Finding God in Desperate Times’ (based on Matt 5:1-12).” His eyes kind of lit up and he said “Wow, sounds like I need to be there!” and he hasn’t stopped coming since.

In subsequent weeks we opened the Bible together and studied about what the Bible teaches about being a Christian. We talked about what Jesus expected from his followers and how you discover how the real Christian life is to be lived by studying out what it means to be a “disciple” (since that is the word the Bible uses for a Christian). It’s a very different picture than typical “denominational Christianity” you see in a lot of American churches nowadays. We talked about how our goal was not just to share some good Bible teaching with him, but to “make him a disciple” as Jesus commanded in Matthew 28:18-20.

It’s amazing how studying the Bible with someone, helping someone else to become a true follower of Jesus, always brings me back to again making the same decisions for myself. As we’re talking together about what Jesus expects and how awesome he is, I’m reminded again personally of why I do what I do. As I told Jeff, “this helps me just as much as it’s helping you.” I’m always amazed at Jesus’ simple plan to change the entire world – making disciples (of Jesus), who make disciples, who make disciples… living out his teachings in our every-day lives.

Here’s a simple and fun song I wrote several years back that can help you to keep Jesus’ plan on your mind (based on Matthew 28:18-20).

This song was published in DPI’s “Song of the Kingdom” songbook, and works great a capella too. Pick up that book to get the sheet music.

Here is the version that appeared on my CD of church songs, “Be with Me Lord“:

Go And Make Disciples – recording

 

He said to go to every nation.
He said, “Tell everyone!”
He said to make them true disciples
And then the job will get done.

Go and make disciples of all nations,
Then baptize them in my name.
Teach them to obey all I have taught you
And I am with you all of the way.

Teach them to bow before the father.
Teach them to flee from sin.
Teach them real love for one another.
Make them true fishers of men.

Let’s go to each and every nation
Let’s go tell everyone!
Let’s go and make them true disciples
Let’s go ‘till this world is won.

On the video I’m doing it in the key of C so it’s not too high for my son Marshall who is singing with me, but when we do it at church with guitar or the whole band we normally do it in D. Here are the chords:

D / G / D / A
D / G / A / A D

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9 Comments on “Go and Make Disciples”

  1. Justin says:

    that made me smile really big….great song. but your kids had me grinning from ear to ear….

  2. Michael Aggabao says:

    Brian,
    I am forever grateful for the life you have shown me. Thank you for studying the bible with me. You have impacted my life and the people around me. We had brian craig song service last sunday when I lead ” A Faithful Witness” Lead me to the Rock” and Home in Heaven.

  3. Donald says:

    We are preaching from Mathew 28 19,20 next week. Can I use this song durring worship service, please?

    • jbriancraig says:

      Sure – hope my reply is not too late. But feel free to use any of my songs for any church purpose. God bless!

  4. Mercedes says:

    I love this song! The story behind this song is amazing! I’m so grateful you put this together. It really encourages my soul and reminds me of my calling each and every day- of being a true follower, a true worshiper- not just singing it whole heartedly by actually accomplishing this scripture of making disciples and discipling as well as being discipled myself.

    What church are you apart of?

    Thanks!

  5. Pete says:

    Brian,

    As you know, the verse reads “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

    Note in your song (with a charming melody I might add) you sought fit to add the word “true” before disciples and the word “than” between “nations” and “baptize”, giving Jesus credit for speaking this.

    The ICOC fellowship over the years has had a serious problem with manipulation and coercion as well as an unyielding position of being the “one true church”. These additional words (in my opinion) appear to reenforce some of those ideas. However, even if you don’t accept that opinion I wonder why you would want to attribute words to Jesus that he never said thus editing the Bible?

    Respectfully- Pete

    • jbriancraig says:

      Pete, thanks for your thoughtful comments. I will openly confess that like any koinonia through Christian history the fellowship of which I am a part I’m sure is guilty of many corporate sins. And to whatever degree I have participated in any I am humbled and broken and fall upon the grace of Jesus. However, I am so thankful of my church family and the way God has used us sinners by his grace to impact many nations. Unless it was subconscious I honestly say it’s just a function of making words fit a melody and definitely not trying to “edit the Bible.” I do agree that “them” refers to the nations (not the individuals you just made into disciples) and in my fellowship this was publicly taught incorrectly for years. I don’t have a problem with saying “true” disciples nor do I think Jesus would – you may notice there is a return to true follow-ship of Jesus among many Christian groups these days. I write many songs from scripture and unless I were able to put the original Hebrew or Greek to music without modifying (and I don’t speak either), it’s always going to be an approximation done in humility and utter respect for the holy scriptures. I want to be someone who is humble in heart and “trembles at his word.” And I’m glad the Bible is so readily available in so many languages and multiple interpretations so anyone with a smart phone can get the real thing.

  6. Rob Walter says:

    Hi Brian,
    My wife and I play guitar with the worship team at North River Church of Christ in Marietta, GA and we often enjoy performing many of the songs you wrote. We will be performing Go and Make Disciples tomorrow. Thank you for sharing your gift with us.


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