Say it Again

Joel Owen - Lead Pastor - Grace Fellowship Church - Kingsport, TN

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: You’ve made an announcement about an event or communicated about a direction your church is going for weeks or even months, only to have someone stop you, seemingly upset, because they had “never heard anything about it” and felt left out! One of the challenges of being a public communicator is that we often wonder if our message is even being heard. Early on in my time being coached in the RDN I remember being told, “You have to keep communicating the message about discipleship over and over again. By the time you’ve said something for the 100th time and are tired of stating your message, someone is just getting it for the first time!” If you have given instruction to people about the message and methods of Jesus to make disciples until you’re tired of saying it and you believe your words have lost meaning or impact because of how often you’ve repeated yourself- say it again! Why? Someone is just clueing in to what you’ve been communicating for weeks, months or years.

 

Peter gives us a strong foundation for this as he sent letters to the churches. He would go to locations and preach and plant churches, but then, like the Apostle Paul, he would write letters back to the churches reminding them of what he had said. In fact, for Peter, repeating himself wasn’t a hassle; repetition was a way to make sure his message outlasted his ministry. In 2 Peter we read these words:

12 So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have. 13 I think it is right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body, 14 because I know that I will soon put it aside, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. 15 And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things.

(2 Peter 1:12-15)

 

Peter had a message that he wanted to outlive his ministry. He gladly repeated the things he wanted the churches to hear and know… again and again and again! This wasn’t a burden; repeating his message was a method Peter developed to make sure the practices of Jesus endured. Two thousand years later we have heard this message because Peter repeated the things he learned from Jesus over and over again, even putting them in writing so greater numbers of people could have access to all he had to say.

 

With the men I’m currently discipling, I’m intentional to remind them weekly that the point of what we are doing when we get together is not to have another Bible study. I am investing in them to help them invest in others. They hear me say the same things often as we discuss what a disciple is and what Jesus did as He made disciples. Likewise, with our church, we are constantly reminding people in our

worship services that disciples make disciples by reaching new people. I end every service saying a variation of the following:

“I want you to know three things: I love you! God loves you immensely more than I ever could! His love empowers us to go into the world and make disciples where we live, work and play.”

 

As a disciple maker…

· You’ve said the definition of disciple in your church more times than you can count. Say it again.

· You’ve preached about the methods Jesus used to make disciples. Preach it again.

· You’ve provided trainings on disciple-making practices and principles until you can’t imagine people don’t know what you’re going to say before you say it. Provide trainings again.

· You’ve created spaces and opportunities for disciple-making relationships to be formed. Create them again.

 

Repeating the message and methods of Jesus is the intentional strategy for how making disciples in your ministry is going to outlast your life! Don’t be afraid to repeat what you’ve already said. And then say it again!

by

Joel Owen
Lead Pastor
Grace Fellowship Church
Kingsport, TN