Just a few weeks ago I had the amazing opportunity to witness fifteen high school students be baptized at our high school program. Some of them were baptized by me, some of them by their small group leaders and yes even some of them by their Christ-following friend that invited them!
Recently I did a personal study on the phrase “follow me” that Jesus used a handful of times and reiterated it in different ways with his disciples. This eventually lead me to doing a three week series with our high school students on this very thought which comes to complete fruition in Matthew 28. All along Jesus has told his disciples to follow him, but in Matthew 28 we see a new action verb, “Go“. Go make disciples –> Go baptize them –> Go teach them.
Jesus spent roughly three years with a chosen group of friends. Living life with them, He showed them what life to the fullest was, how to obtain it, and how to share it with others. With his last days here on earth, Jesus entrusted the ministry to the disciples and commanded them to GO! As if Jesus was teaching them to drive a car for 3 years and then tossed them the keys. He knew they wouldn’t drive the vehicle of ministry perfectly and there would be bumps along the way. He reassured them with the sending of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit was sent as a guide and a helper.
I pushed this idea again and again to our students over the course of a few weeks. That they need to be “for” their friends that are far from God. I urged them to consider what Matthew 28 means. It doesn’t say “Pastors – go and make disciples.” It doesn’t say “church staff go and baptize” He was speaking to a group of Christ-followers. And because they obeyed the command, here you and I are today. Someone passed the keys of ministry to you, entrusting you with the life-changing message of Jesus in hopes that you would do that for someone else.
Seeing these high school students baptize their friends will mark what I believe is one of the sweetest moments I have been able to witness both as a pastor and more importantly a Christ-follower.
We need to give permission and push the envelope on this – can you imagine your Christ-following students living out Matthew 28 to the fullest? Making disciples, baptizing them, teaching their friends about Jesus. If we count on just ourselves to do this we are missing the mark. I believe this is what Jesus asks of every Christ-follower.