Me, Disciple Someone?

Christ’s mandate—to make disciples—is the theme of this week’s Radical study. Although Peter’s preaching resulted in the conversion of 3,000 on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:41), Christ’s strategy for reaching the world with his small band of people was NOT mass evangelism. Instead, Jesus clearly gave them the mandate for impacting the world through the process of making disciples:

18 Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 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,20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”  (Matthew 28:18-20, HCSB)

Rather than pursue modern “church growth” techniques and church marketing, we must return to the Biblical standard of discipleship—that is, the relational transmission of God’s truth in action from one person to another. As Jesus spoke of being the intermediary between the Father and man, He told His disciples to “learn from Me” (Matthew 11:29). Likewise, Jesus has entrusted to us an intermediary role between Him and new believers in order to:

…qualitatively trigger the process of total Christian learning / incarnating / living / testifying / soul-winning / teaching / disciple-building into the life of a new Christian. [1]

This should result in the 2 Timothy 2:2 reproductive pattern; from Paul to Timothy to faithful men and to others also. We see in that passage four generations of multiplying, Truth-transferring, world-impacting Christians.

Who is following you as you are following Christ? Into whom are you pouring your spiritual knowledge and passion, so that they will pour that truth into another? Put another way, do you have spiritual children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren?

The task may seem daunting. So, how do we go about that task? We begin with prayer. Even Jesus prayed to the Father before choosing His disciples. Ask God to lead you in the selection process. [2] He may lead you to someone who is already a believer, but immature. His leadership, however, may be to the “unbeliever,” with whom you can begin spiritual dialogues –  for the process starts at pre-conversion in order that they can be baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Then, as the Great Commission continues, you continue to teach them all that Christ commanded. As you have developed a rapport with the individual you have led to Christ, it is logical that you continue the process of leading them to maturity.

Where do you find the resources to disciple someone? Every believer should have a level of knowledge necessary to lead someone through the rudimentary elements of the gospel, along with your personal testimony of faith in Christ, thus allowing the Holy Spirit to convict a person of sin and draw him to repentance and salvation. Anyone, who has been in the fellowship of the church for any length of time, should have an incredible amount of resources from the Word of God at their finger tips or in their memory banks, allowing them to disciple someone else from the point of salvation to the level of a maturing, reproductive believer.

Herb Hodges suggests the following discipleship themes to accomplish this process:

  1. devotional: the means and mechanics of a daily, personal devotional life;
  2. doctrinal: the basic teachings of the Bible on things like God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Bible, sin, salvation, etc.;
  3. dispositional: how to live a life of self-control in attitude and behavior;
  4. distress: how to face and overcome life’s difficulties;
  5. domestic: the biblical teachings on marriage and family;
  6. dedicational: living under the Lordship of Christ and His purposes;
  7. directional: seeing the strategy for being and building disciples. [3]

If you will begin to think in these categories, you can easily file your Sunday School / Bible study lessons and preaching notes into these themes and have ready resources to lead someone to become a follower of Christ.

This, of course, is only meant to “whet your appetite” and is in no way a thorough treatise on disciple-making. However, I hope that you will seriously weigh your responsibility and become faithful to this mandate!

YOUR RESPONSE:

  • Do you view the Great Commission as the responsibility of all believers or a select group of followers of Christ (ie: missionaries, pastors, etc.)?
  • What fears or inadequacies keep you from taking on the role of a disciple-maker?
  • If you are a disciple-maker, what words of encouragement would YOU give someone who is hesitant to take on the role? What resources have been helpful to you?

_________________________________________

1  Hodges, Herb, Fox Fever, Spiritual Life Ministries, p ii. (This is a great “how to” book available from the author HEREFox Fever is Herb’s sequel to Tally Ho the Fox, which lays out the foundational principles for making disciples, while Fox Fever relates to the practical side of disciple-making. Both are valuable resources.)

2  The Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert Coleman is a “must read” as a classic examination of Jesus’ process of making disciples. It highlights eight areas of disciple-making: selection, association, consecration, impartation, demonstration, delegation, supervision and reproduction.

3  Hodges, pp 147-160.

3 thoughts on “Me, Disciple Someone?

  1. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Between | Rural Iowa Pastor

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