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Now is the time to activate

Living a life of discipleship starts right now

The term “sleeper cell” is used to describe a terrorist group from another country, living a secret life here in North America. They blend in, pretending to be the same as everyone else, and all the while awaiting orders. Until they are “activated” they simply watch and wait, listening for that cryptic message which says “activate now!”  On hearing their orders, they will launch into active duty—often of a violent or destructive nature.

There may be places and times when Christians are forced to work “under cover” or “under the radar” due to the presence of persecution from oppressive political systems. However, they are never intended to be inactive or to simply wait for some future purpose or plan of God. Even under extreme persecution, believers have shown they can play an important role in God’s great plan for the redemption of all creation as a witness to others.

The normal pattern for every follower of Jesus is to become engaged immediately. The moment you decide to follow Jesus you are “activated;” you become a disciple who makes disciples and can help to form new fellowships of believers. It looks like this:

• Someone receives a clear presentation of the salvation story in a way they can understand and they are invited to respond to the love of Jesus.

• When the person responds to the call of God in their life they are filled with joy at the forgiveness of sin and the gift of new life.

• They are now given some coaching in order to be “activated” as a disciple who has a testimony and can be a witness to what Jesus has done in their life.

• They begin to pray for three to four close friends who need to know about the amazing gift they have received and begin to share their story.

• They join an authentic group of people who are growing in their love for Jesus so they can become disciples who make disciples, even planting new churches.

When does a new believer become active in God’s redemptive plan? Immediately!

When do they start their discipleship training? Immediately!

When do they begin to serve? Immediately!

A friend shared the following story. At a large gathering of young adults, he met someone who wanted to talk about following Jesus. As they talked, she realized she had never made a faith commitment. She said “yes” to Jesus. Together they talked about what that meant. My friend then asked, “Who are some of the people you know who should hear your story?”

“Some of them are here,” she said. After reviewing her decision to follow Jesus, she headed off to share the good news with two or three friends who were at the same event.

When we say “yes” to Jesus, a new life begins within us. Every follower of Jesus becomes a “new creation.” The power of the living Christ brings about a transformation which is accomplished through the gift of the Holy Spirit. Obedience to the Spirit makes that power available for God’s work to be done in our lives. So, is that switch turned “off” or “on” in your life?

In my youth, we used to use the word “sleeper” to describe a car which looked normal (and slow) but had been rebuilt by a gifted mechanic to become a high performance race car. It was called a “sleeper” because no one could see the amazing power that was available. If that car entered a race no one would expect it to win. But when the car took off, you suddenly realized what kind of power was hidden under the hood.

Are you a follower of Jesus? There is great power available to all those who follow in obedience. The orders have been given, the race has begun. It is time for the power of the living Christ to be revealed in you.

So what are you waiting for? Activate now!

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About the author

ChristianWeek Columnist

Paul Kroeker is the director of Global Disciples Canada. Visit

About the author