Browsing Category | Disciple Making Process

Help in the process of making disciples. Resourceful information that will strengthen your efforts as a disciple maker and help show you how to bring them to maturity.

Disciplined Discipleship

Disciple Makers must always have a plan for discipleship.

The goal is to produce disciple-making disciples and one does not get there if there isn’t a well-defined plan to get them there.

There are a plethora of discipleship curriculum out there and it is my strong belief that curriculum is essential to any disciple making endeavor.

Four Motives for Purposeful Disciple Making

Set the Course

It is imperative that you set the course for your budding disciple. There is an end goal to be achieved which is a rooted and established disciple.

Ephesians 3:16-19 (NIV)
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

The only method of getting a disciple rooted and established is through a carefully planned course. With the multitude of discipleship courses available, why reinvent the wheel?

Choosing a curriculum will require careful consideration. Don’t just read the book cover, examine the content of each lesson. Go through it yourself, if need be, so you have full knowledge of its content and depth.

When I entered into disciple making, I used the curriculum that I was discipled with which was the Design for Discipleship curriculum from The Navigators. I have also been through The Navigators’ 2:7 Series which is also excellent. You may have been discipled with curriculum you are familiar with and want to do the same for someone else.

Make certain the curriculum offers a systematic progression to maturity.

When curriculum is used, there is a beginning and an end. Instead of an “end,” let us consider it their launch. Your disciple will be ready to enter into disciple making as a result of their training.

Keep this in mind as you disciple others — the goal is to launch them into disciple making.

Disciplined Progress

The highest motivation of all disciple makers is love. We were loved into the kingdom by someone. We were discipled by someone who loved us enough to develop us into Christ-loving disciples. We were loved enough to be taught the disciplines of the faith that persist in us to this day.

Even if you were not discipled with a formal discipleship process, you can begin by learning along with that new believer God has called you to disciple.

Learning the habits of growth takes time and commitment. This is not an un-disciplined road.

We all live busy lives filled with commitments. One of the first priorities of discipleship is rearranging those commitments in order to dedicate ourselves to a new lifestyle.

Simon and Andrew dropped their nets and walked a completely different life path when Jesus called them. The same is true of all disciples throughout.

Matthew 4:18-20 (KJV)
And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him.

New habits will be formed and developed in a purposeful progression when using a formal discipleship process.

“The chains of habit are generally too small to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.” – Samuel Johnson

Dedicated Preparation

Selecting a disciplined discipleship path offers benefits beyond measure.

There is preparation that must be completed before each meeting. A superb curriculum will promote daily assignments in order to instill new habits. To whom much is given, much is required.

Homework – or dedicated preparation – signifies sacrifice.

Since both you and those you disciple have committed to preparing yourselves before each meeting, you will come together with your own personal insights and questions. The Lord will have had your full attention for a specific amount of time each week and He will have had the opportunity to convey His thoughts to you.

A simple, “Speak, Lord. Your servant is listening.” prayer before beginning each daily assignment will reap a harvest of insight and transformation. His Word is living and active and sharper than a double-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12), therefore, He is speaking to us when we spend time in His Word.

There is built-in accountability when a purposeful discipleship curriculum is utilized. You and those you disciple will have completed your homework because you do not want to disappoint one another.

Spiritual Dividends

As mentioned in the previous section, the time invested in preparation reaps a harvest of spiritual dividends.

There is a measured progress of maturing going on in both you and those you disciple as you make your way through a formal discipleship curriculum.

Obedience to His commands is a sure sign of spiritual progress.

Obedience isn’t a concept our culture lifts high these days, but it is a key theme throughout all scripture. Watch for signs of obedience to His Word as you progress.

As a disciple maker, you would do well to call attention to the growth you witness along the journey. It is a source of encouragement to the one being discipled. You must also mention signs of your own growth as you learn together; it will encourage them that our maturing in Christ never ceases.

If you use the same curriculum over and over again as you invest in the lives of others, you will be able to add more and more insight with each passage through the same curriculum. You will never grow weary of the same curriculum because we never arrive at maturity.


The following video from Francis Chan offers a compelling argument for ordinary Christians who are prepared and able to teach others how to grow in their faith.  Christians cannot lie back and assume disciple making is for the ordained ministry staff.  Disciple making is for the ordinary, everyday Christian.  Equipping the saints for the work of ministry (Eph. 4:12-16) was never designed to be the role of the clergy alone.  We are all charged with the task of disciple making.  Do not shirk your duty!

Nurturing the Divine Nature

Just as food nourishes our bodies to keep us healthy, God’s Word is designed to keep us spiritually healthy.

Are you starving or thriving?

Are those you disciple starving or thriving?

Most of us eat three meals each day, but as sure as skipping breakfast causes us to grow weary before the noon meal, skipping daily spiritual nourishment will leave us fragile, unguarded, and easy prey to the corruption of the world around us. We are literally unarmed against the onslaught of bullets the world and our spiritual enemy fires at us.

I am a walker. I take short walks three to four times each day. As I walk around the neighborhood in the evening, I can see that the television is on in nearly every household I pass. I don’t know what my neighbors are watching, but I often wonder what sort of moral or ethical filters (if any) they have in place to combat the onslaught of wickedness and sometimes erroneous messages being presented. Are they filtering the messages they are hearing and seeing?

In order to quell any suspicion of my condemnation, I turn on the television in the evening as well. I usually watch Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix. If you have ever watched this program, you are aware that it is less than upright in its morality and is entirely accurate in its portrayal of our spiritually bankrupt culture. Quite often I fast-forward through scenes that are completely objectionable and I still get the story line without being subjected to offensive human morality.  I have filters in place that say, “Don’t go there!”  My filters are not perfected, but after more than thirty years of sitting at Jesus’ feet, there are filters in place.

The point being — what filters has the Lord put in place in order for you to navigate the murky moral waters in which we dwell?

There is a spiritual discipline we have learned by constant practice and development. It is the spiritual discipline of reading God’s Word daily.

I love the way David says it in Psalm 63:2

psalm-63_2-i-have-seen-you-in-the-sanctuary

David was a frequent flyer to the Lord’s sanctuary.

It is a fundamental responsibility for all His children to frequent His sanctuary to behold His power and glory.

His sanctuary is wherever we choose to make it. His sanctuary is wherever we are.

We enter His sanctuary seeking an increase of grace and peace for the day.  [1]

Nourishing the Divine Nature

2-peter-1_2_4-grace-and-peace

Nurturing the Divine Nature means we enter His sanctuary daily presenting ourselves to behold His power and glory, thereby taking in His promises and guidance as our daily nourishment.

Do you go into His sanctuary every day to behold the glory and power of the Lord?

Are your heart, mind and morals being transformed according to His divine nature?


Disciple Making Process

So, how do we, as disciple makers, train a new believer to nurture the divine nature they have been granted at conversion?

What do they need that will save them from the corruption of the world and their own evil desires?

It is our duty, as disciple makers, to train a new believer to form godly habits – but how?

If you have raised, or are raising children, you know they didn’t come forth from the womb with an appetite for steak or pot roast. You fed them milk before you introduced pureed cereal, vegetables and fruit. Later, after they grew some teeth, you methodically introduced them to solid foods. For me, it seemed like a never-ending process, but in retrospect it only took a year to get them to eat solid food.

Training a disciple in godly habits is the same process.


1 Cor 3:2 Nurturing DiscipleshipBaby food

Give the one you are discipling a daily assignment.

A new disciple’s greatest need is assurance of their salvation, so give them assurance of salvation verses to read each day.

  • Click here for a list of Assurance of Salvation verses.
  • Choose one per day until you next meet together.
  • Ask them to memorize their favorite verse from the list.
  • See the blog post “Self-Feeders” and pray for them every day!

When you come together again, ask them to tell you how they know they are a Christian.

If they are unable to identify themselves as a Christian, share the gospel message with them and invite them to become partakers of the divine nature.

Introduce “Quiet Time”

You can call it whatever you wish. Simply introduce them to the discipline of daily Bible reading.

Ask them to read only one assurance of salvation verse each morning.

Ask them to think of any questions they may have about it and write it down for your next meeting.

If you are led by the Spirit, call or text them to see if there are any questions after a few days. Do not call or text if you are not led.

Gentle encouragement is what they need as they begin their journey of discipleship.

One note here: If they do not complete these verses for your next meeting, you will want to pray about their commitment to the discipleship process. Do not waste your time if you feel they lack interest or motivation. If they have read more than the one verse per day, you know you have a dedicated disciple!


[1] Henry, M. (1996, c1991). Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible : Complete and unabridged in one volume (2 Pe 1:1). Peabody: Hendrickson.


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Self-Feeders

Developing self-feeding disciples needs to be a disciple maker’s highest priority.

One of the pitfalls I have fallen into as a disciple maker is allowing those I have discipled to become dependent upon my instruction and direction each week instead of developing them into independent self-feeders.

When I invite someone into discipleship training, I ask them for a two year commitment of their time.  Jesus spent three years with His disciples and they were together pretty much 24/7.  That is some intensive life-on-life training!  My once per week table time with disciples is a pitiful investment by comparison.

Why is it so important that we develop self-feeders?

 

Jesus is the Bread of Life

“Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever.” [1]

John 6:57-58

 

Disciple Makers today have a plethora of material resources at our disposal for training disciples. However, if we don’t model and teach them to feed themselves on a daily basis we have failed miserably!


Pray for Self-Feeders

The following list is borrowed from “The Lost Art of Disciple Making” by Leroy Eims.

Pray your disciples will long for the Word of God.

Monday   

Pray Psalm 119:97

“Oh how I love Thy law! It is my meditation all the day.”

Prayer:  O Lord, may (name of disciple) love your law and meditate on it daily.

 

Tuesday 

Pray Psalm 119:29

“Thy testimonies are wonderful; therefore my soul observes them.”

Prayer:  Lord, may (name of disciple) consider Your Word wonderful and obey it fully.”

 

Wednesday

Pray Psalm 119:131

“I opened my mouth wide and panted, for I longed for Thy commandments.”

Prayer:  May (name of disciple) have this kind of a desire for Your Word.

 

Thursday  

Pray Psalm 119:140

“Thy Word is very pure, therefore Thy servant loves it.”

Prayer:  Lord, may (name of disciple) have a great love for Your Word.

 

Friday

Pray Psalm 119:148

“My eyes anticipate the night watches, that I may mediate on Thy Word.”

Prayer:  May (name of disciple) look forward to nighttime so that (name of disciple) can meditate on Your Word as (name of disciple)                                              goes to sleep.

 

Saturday     

Pray Psalm 119:162

“I rejoice at They Word, as one who finds great spoil.”

Prayer:  O Lord, help (name of disciple) rejoice in Your Word constantly.


As you can see from this example, any verse from Psalm 119 can be transformed into a prayer for your disciple/s with regard to discovering a hunger and thirst for the Word of God on a daily basis.

Without learning to feed themselves on the Word of God, they will become wholly dependent upon you and others to feed them the pure meat of the Word.  They will be crippled for the remainder of their life if they do not learn to feed themselves.

Right now I am imagining a starving person.  We have all seen the images on our television or in magazines.  The emaciation of a starving human being makes us want to look away, doesn’t it?  The same goes for a disciple of Christ who has not disciplined themselves to feed on God’s Word on a daily basis. It is the same as going without nourishment of the body for days, weeks, months on end.  It leads to death – spiritual death.

Start them on the righteous path – pray for them to be given a hunger for His Word that they will nourish themselves daily for the rest of their earthly life.

Model self-feeding for them. Share what you have feasted on during your time apart from one another and ask them to do the same.

[1]  The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984. Grand Rapids: Zondervan.