Lee Pigg calls messengers to ‘make disciples’
    November 10 2015 by K. Allan Blume, BR Editor

    Preaching the annual convention sermon at Greensboro’s Koury Convention Center, Lee Pigg called fellow North Carolina Baptists to obey Jesus’ command to make disciples. “We’ve been focusing for a long time as Baptists on making converts instead of making disciples,” he said in the Nov. 3 closing session. “A convert in my definition is someone who simply does not want to go to hell. But a disciple is someone who is willing to follow Christ.”

     
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    BSC photo by K Brown
    Lee Pigg

     

    Pigg has served as the senior pastor of Hopewell Baptist Church in Monroe for 13 years.
     
    The biblical text of the sermon, Matthew 4:18-20, tells how Jesus called Peter and Andrew from their life of fishing to follow Him and become “fishers of men.”
     
    To illustrate the importance of calling people to follow Christ, Pigg recalled the “Million More in ‘54” campaign. The Sunday School Board of Southern Baptist Convention set a goal to win one million people to Christ in 1954. He said it was the greatest Sunday School campaign ever launched.
     
    “The results were staggering,” Pigg said. “Over 600,000 people gave their lives to Christ that year. What would we do if 600,000 new believers came to our churches in the next year?”
     
    Baptist leaders asked that question after the success of the 1954 campaign. The responsibility for following-up the wave of new believers was delegated to Sunday School. Pigg said leaders based their plan on Flake’s formula, a popular growth strategy. They enlarged the organization, provided more space, enlisted more workers and went after the people.
     
    Sunday School leaders assumed these new believers would become mature followers of Christ simply by getting involved in Sunday School.
     
    “If we are not careful, we will focus more on building our churches than making disciples in His kingdom,” said Pigg. “So pastors let me relieve you of a tremendous burden that many of you in this room are probably carrying on your shoulders. Jesus said in Matthew chapter 16 that it is His job to build the church, not yours.” Our assignment according to Matthew 28 is to make disciples, Pigg added.
     
    He believes we are not doing very well since fewer people are attending church now and 90 percent of churches are plateaued or declining.
     
    “Many times we spend more time on our mission statement than we do making disciples,” he said. Pigg spent some time researching church mission statements. He read a 72-word mission statement of one church. Another church has a simple, two-word mission statement: “Make disciples.” While it is simple, the decision to be a disciple of Jesus Christ and make disciples for Christ is “one that will require sacrifice and commitment,” he said.
     
    The sermon pointed to four statements about disciple-making. First, making disciples begins with an invitation. Pigg pointed out that relationships begin with an invitation – an invitation to dinner or coffee, an invitation to church or a movie, or an invitation to one’s home.
     
    In Matthew 11:29 “Jesus invites us to come to Him,” Pigg said. He invites us into a discipling relationship. Many converts never become disciples. “A convert sees conversion as the end while a disciple sees it as the beginning [of a relationship].”
     
    Second, he said “Making disciples needs some clarification.”
     
    He told the story of a man who said he disagreed with a sermon Pigg preached that challenged the whole church to be disciples. The man said, “I don’t believe all of us Christians have to be disciples.” The man’s statement was a complete shock to the preacher.
     
    “Even though we are believers, we must never forget that we are first and foremost followers of the Lord Jesus Christ,” he said. Jesus said “follow me,” which means, “Go where I go; do what I’m doing; watch what I do and you do the same thing.”
     
    The third statement of the sermon said, “Making disciples brings about transformation.” The lives of disciples are changed lives.
     
    Pigg asked a young couple for permission to tell their story of transformation. Brent and Wendy were unmarried, but living together. They came to church several Sundays, and then they walked the aisle and gave their lives to Christ, he explained. Pigg did not confront them about their relationship of living together. He “decided to leave the conviction up to the Holy Spirit.”
     
    A few weeks later the couple told the pastor they needed to be baptized, so they were baptized. Soon after that they told Pigg they needed to be married, and he performed their wedding. “Their lives were transformed by God,” not by men, he said.
     
    The kind of change the couple experienced is explained in Romans 12:2, “do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed ...” Pigg said, “Transformation takes place by the renewing of our mind by the Holy Spirit of God.”
     
    He said the key to a changed life is submission. “To be transformed we must submit to the authority of Christ and do as He has said to do to make disciples.”
     
    The fourth point states, “Making disciples results in multiplication.”
     
    Pigg said, “A convert supposedly gets saved; they go to church; they struggle to try to do the right thing; they never develop relationship with Christ; they never have much fruit in their life. That is why 95 percent of the people in our churches never lead another person to Christ, ... and they don’t tithe either. I think there is very little difference in a convert and a lost person.”
     
    Referring to the theme verse of the meeting, 2 Timothy 2:2, he illustrated the multiplication principle that Paul taught Timothy. “If you win 1,000 people to Christ every day, it will take 16,427 years to lead everyone in the world to Christ,” Pigg said.
     
    However if you only lead one person to Christ every year and disciple that person, and the next year each of you win one person to Christ and disciple them, and continue the multiplication process, you will win the whole world to Christ in 32 years.
     
    His closing challenge posed several questions: “Will you make disciples? Will you follow Christ and be a disciple? Will you be transformed? Will you keep His commandments and make disciples?”
     
    Pigg said he considered closing the sermon with a “guilt trip,” but he knew that would not produce lasting results. So, he highlighted Jesus' last words, “Go and make disciples.” Pigg concluded, “If that doesn’t motivate us, nothing will.”

    11/10/2015 3:39:40 PM by K. Allan Blume, BR Editor | with 0 comments
    Filed under: BSC Annual Meeting, Lee Pigg




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