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The Kingdom of God and Discipleship Making – The Urgency by Dr. Goodwill Shana

November 8, 2019

Dr. Goodwill Shana led the 4th session of the World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) General Assembly plenary at the Sentul International Convention Centre here in Bogor, Indonesia. His presentation centered on the Mathew 22:1-13 parable of the wedding feast and its implication on the urgency of discipleship. 

He said, “There is an urgency that God is looking for people who can come on-board and partner in intentional discipleship making”. He noted that Evangelicals sometimes tend to relegate issues of discipleship because of the ‘busyness’ of their ministries – Instead of prioritizing discipleship and kingdom of God.

According to Dr. Shana, Christians cannot be about “the Kingdom of God and not be about what He is about.”  He shared his personal experience of growing up in Zimbabwe in a family facing hard economic challenges and an absentee father.

He recalled of how when he was 11 years old a missionary – Robert E. Batey- working in the village would always pick him up for Church every single day and he believes without this missionary’s contribution, he would not be the pastor or man he is today, “that was discipleship in action”. He reflected that the missionary modelled Jesus Christ and went back for that one lost sheep and disciple him intentionally to be a follower of Christ. He urges all those at the General Assembly to make a commitment to “go back for that lost sheep”.

“As we engage the King of the Kingdom we will begin to get the sense of urgency and priority,” he said.

In analysing the attitudes within Evangelicals to discipleship he observed an inclination to have “value transactions that are not kingdom transactions – tendency to be associated with power and prosperity, “that do not adhere to the basic principles of scripture that urges us to help the poor among us and be a voice for the voiceless.

“The kingdom of God is still searching, looking out for the poor, the miserable of the world and for the broken” he added.

He outlined five reasons why the Church has to be seized and serve with a sense of urgency:

  1. There must be urgency of the program of the King.
  2. Urgency of the love and compassion of God the father. Praying that the evangelical family will not be known for discourse and discussion but will be known for their love and compassion.
  1. Urgency of the condition of the world – we cannot pretend that we don’t see how bad the situation is in the world – the human trafficking, abuse of women and children.
  1. Urgency of the peril, consequences on what will happen if you did nothing. Urgency of the times – we do the religious things, the required things in church with no urgency.
  1. The urgency of a new generation. The Church must strengthen itself to be in a position to birth and disciple the next generation.

Dr. Goodwill Shana is a lawyer by training and the Founder and Senior Pastor of Word of Life International Ministries.  He is the current President of the Association of Evangelicals in Africa (AEA) and serves as Chair of the WEA International Council. 

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