Discipleship. Are we changed?

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
Matthew 28:19

Why didn't Jesus say "Go and make believers of all nations?" And what is the difference?

This is something that I struggle with relatively regularly. What is discipleship and why is our calling to that instead of just believers? Or rather, why do we care so much about evangelism and so little about discipleship.

Granted, when someone chooses the Lord, they make a decision that affects their soul for all of eternity. This is a huge deal. Perhaps the biggest deal. But by stopping there its like we're saying, "The Lord has nothing to offer you in this life, but you're good, just wait till the next."

Can we really say that? How many of us mean that? How many of us genuinely believe that? I'm sad to say that I was quite far along before I began to believe that a relationship with Jesus would actually make a difference in my everyday life. That trusting in Him actually affected my daily decisions and the way my life looks.

I remember in High School one of my friends asked to put his faith in the Lord. I was thrilled, took him outside (we were at a friend's Bible study), and I stumbled through some verses in Romans that I still know far too poorly, and he prayed a prayer in the snow.
It was spectacular.

But then we were just friends. I never knew how to offer him anything different because my life didn't really look different. It might have moral in some ways, but I didn't act any different because of my relationship with the Lord, but rather just what my parents had taught me was right and wrong.

Can all of life be redeemed? Can our lives be redeemed? And if they are, do we know how they are? Do we live any differently?

We need to re-evaluate what we think of the great commission. I don't think its about numbers. It's about actual changed lives.

Before we can hope to disciple, we need to know what makes us different. We have to actually be able to articulate what Jesus brings to our everyday lives, our work, our sports, the way we spend our time, and love our families.

God has to be real to us, for us to make Him real to others, and in order to fulfill the great commission we need to disciple. Discipleship is teaching people who the Lord is, and what He brings, and how He changes us.

Do you know? Can you help me understand? I'm sad how little connection I make between these lofty ideals and my practical life.