A Disciple-Making Pandemic

April 5, 2020 bill.wilks@me.com Blog

Right now, our world is riding out the storm of the Coronavirus Pandemic. In our lifetime, we have never seen anything like this. Entire countries are shut down, nonessential businesses are closed, church buildings are empty, and hundreds of millions of people across the globe are isolated at home while they shelter in place. Once busy streets of major cities throughout the world look eerily like a scene from the Walking Dead. In every nation, people are sick and many are dying from Covid 19. Fear grips the whole world.

Rarely have we experienced a deadly pestilence that is so highly contagious. A person can go for days with no physical symptoms of the virus and yet, spread the virus to everyone to whom he or she comes into contact. Because of this, Covid 19 is multiplying at alarming rates. One day a city will have only a few who have tested positive for the virus. A couple of weeks later, the number has grown exponentially. The Coronavirus is a visual reminder of the supernatural power of multiplication. Covid 19 is spreading the message of sickness and death to the entire world simply because it multiplies through common people, and the authorities of the world have not been able to prevail against it.

In a more positive light, isn’t this what Jesus taught us about the Gospel? He chose twelve disciples who were very simple and common men. As they followed Him, He infected them with light and life and He entrusted them with a life-giving Gospel. Then, He multiplied them out to go and infect others with this new life who, in turn, were to infect others. With no big buildings or budgets, the early church spread rapidly across the globe because it knew how to multiply. This was the one thing Jesus taught them to do. He didn’t teach His disciples how to add, but how to multiply. The early church was not centered around large worship gatherings with skilled musicians and gifted orators. Plain and simple, the early church was a global grassroots disciple-making movement. It was a disciple-making pandemic, and the authorities of the world could not stop it. Not even the gates of hell could prevail against it.

If only the Gospel had continued to spread like the Coronavirus is spreading today, the church could have accomplished the Great Commission many centuries ago. What we can learn from Covid 19 is what Jesus taught His disciples in Matthew 28:19. His disciples were to go and make disciples who make other disciples. The key to global evangelism is not the mega church, but the many churches of all sizes across the world that are willing to rekindle the flame of a once powerful disciple-making movement. One day a city could have only a few disciples who have been infected with light and life. A few weeks later the number could grow exponentially and the life-giving Gospel could multiply at astounding rates.

Yes, the Coronavirus is a visual reminder of the supernatural power of multiplication. If the church today wants to reestablish itself as a powerful force on earth for the life-giving Gospel of Christ, it must return to the multiplying movement that Jesus began. It’s time for a disciple-making pandemic.

For years, I struggled as a pastor to establish a simple and reproducible process for disciple-making. Through much prayer, God gave me a vision for D-Life. D-Life is a simple, biblical, missional, and reproducible process for disciple-making. It’s not a program; it’s a lifestyle. The goal of D-Life is to see a global grassroots disciple-making movement—to see a disciple-making pandemic. I encourage you to check out D-Life at: www.livethedlife.com.