Here’s a thought…you must decide which holds a greater preeminence in your life: making friends or making disciples. (When I say “making friends” I mean that in the most popular sense: trying to make people feel good about themselves, staying away from controversy, packing up the hard conversations in favor of the peaceful surface.) In my experience, there will be times where you must decide which is your ultimate aim because, for one reason or another, you cannot have both.
Sometimes making disciples means we graciously and truthfully drill down deep on someone’s sinful patterns in their life, patiently calling them to repentance and pursuing them like a shepherd running after a wayward sheep. It may mean conversations not typified by smiles, laughter or an easiness of spirit but a quiet intensity, sober resolution and slow, steady, stern words. Making disciples may turn your stomach into knots, make you feel a little queasy or cause you to break out in a nervous sweat as you anticipate the “hard conversation” you’ve got in about an hour from now, hoping somehow they might have to cancel on you at the last minute.
This isn’t to say you can’t make disciples and have friends. This is to say that in the realm of helping people become fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ, one will influence the other.
Which one will it be for you?