UPDATED: (Syracuse, New York ) — Every Christian needs to be able to answer two simple questions: 1) Who is investing in you? and 2) Who are you investing in? In the Great Commission found in Matthew 28:18-20, our Lord Jesus Christ commanded us to go and “make disciples of all nations,” beginning with our own. Sadly, the American Church is experiencing an epic failure of discipleship. Most older believers are not spiritually investing in the lives of younger believers. We are failing to model and transmit Biblical truth and Christ-like character and a passion for evangelism and discipleship to the next generations. Thus the American Church is weak and failing and in desperate need of revival. Thus our nation is increasingly at risk not simply of decline but outright collapse, as I write about in Implosion.
This weekend, my family and I and several young people we have discipled had the joy of attending the memorial service and burial of Dr. T. E. Koshy. Dr. Koshy is the man who discipled me — the man who invested in me spiritually — at Syracuse University when I studied there as an undergraduate, and in the years since. Dr. Koshy got it. He understand the power and purpose of Biblical discipleship. Koshy understood that making healthy, devout, faithful disciples is the only way the Church grows and matures over the long haul. It is not enough just to make Christians. We must make true followers of Christ who are fully committed to obeying all that Christ taught His original disciples. Koshy understood the importance of spiritually investing in others, because a great man of God once invested heavily into him. It changed him. It marked him. It made him committed not just to eternal life (John 3:16), and the abundant life (John 10:10), but also to the invested life (Matthew 25:14-30).
Here is the link to the webcast of the memorial service, which was held at North Syracuse Baptist Church. There were many wonderful, moving tributes to this dear man of God, this great friend and disciple-maker. You’ll learn so much listening to them all. I was honored to deliver the eulogy towards the end of the service. My remarks run about 40 minutes or so and begin at 1:57:54 into the program. I shared some personal memories of the man who was more like the Apostle Paul than any person I have ever known, including the amusing story of how we first met, how he invested in me, as well as some anecdotes from the preaching tours we did through Israel, India, and Iraq.
In addition, I shared about the final project that we worked on together, a book that has just been released called, The Invested Life: Making Disciples Of All Nations One Person At A Time. What is this book about? Why did we write it? Why is discipleship so important? What made Dr. Koshy so remarkably qualified to speak to this topic? I share the answers to these questions during this message and why the concept of spiritual investing became so special and personal and urgent for me. I do hope you’ll take some time to watch and listen, and to read this new book and share it with others.
Sadly, much of the American Church seems to have forgotten Christ’s “Great Commission.” Most American believers don’t really know what a disciple is, or how to make one, nor have they ever made one. Yet our Lord Jesus commanded us to “make disciples of all nations” — it was one of His most important commandments to His followers just before He returned to the Father. We desperately need to rediscover the lost art of making disciples. Dr. Koshy understood this deeply. He taught my wife and me, and now, through this message and this new book, we are seeking to pass along what we have learned over the years. In many ways, this book is a corollary or a companion to Implosion. Or, to put it another way, Implosion describes the sickness. The Invested Life describes the cure.
Who is investing in you? Who are you investing in? Do you have answers to these vital questions? May the Lord bless you richly as you considered these eternal truths and how to apply them in your own life and ministry. And may the Church in America and around the world urgently rediscover the centrality of discipleship before we must stand before our Lord Jesus and be held to account.