Being

There is one thing that is essential for all disciple makers – BEING.

“You teach what you know, but you reproduce what you are.”  Howard Hendricks

In order to reproduce disciples of Christ, we need to BE disciples of Christ.

A disciple is an adherent who accepts the instruction given to him and makes it his rule of conduct.1

I can testify that being a disciple is the chief essential for all disciple makers. If we believe we are the driving force of disciple making, we miss the mark. On our own, we will reproduce self-seeking disciples of ourselves.

The first priority of a disciple maker is to sit at the feet of Jesus, meet with Him daily, and dwell in His presence as a lifestyle.

The apostle Paul describes the results of this lifestyle with great eloquence:

2 Corinthians 3:18 And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

Can you imagine teaching someone how to weld when you have never touched a welding torch? You may have an intellectual understanding of welding from reading about it, but until you take the welding torch into your hands and set it to metal you do not fully comprehend being a welder.

It is the same for a disciple maker who does not sit at the feet of Jesus and absorb His life, character, essence and splendor.

It is at His feet that He transforms us into His own image. It is this transformation that attracts others to us; it is what they want for themselves. Therefore, making disciples has little to do with us and everything to do with His transforming power.

Do you invite Jesus into your existence? Does your heart yearn for His transforming presence? It is only by existing in His holy presence that we have the essential element for disciple making – the aroma of Christ.

2 Corinthians 2:15 For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.

We may have an education in biblical studies, but if we do not have the aroma of the Lord radiating from our being, we will not be an effectual disciple maker. We will tend to deliver head knowledge without heart knowledge.  We create an extraordinary learner, but not a disciple who makes disciples.

Being always precedes doing

Some time ago I was in a group where we were challenged to look up the “be” verses in the Bible. The “be” verses of scripture far exceed the number of “do” verses. It was a life-changing exercise for me.

We tend to want to do for Jesus. Doing is good, but being is exceptional. Doing follows being.

The only way we attain the aroma of Christ is by being His possession: sitting at His feet (learning from Him), meeting Him face to face (allowing His glory to burnish our soul), and linger in His glorious presence (in continual conversation).

Focus on being His disciple and the radiance of His essence will emanate from our being without our awareness. This radiance or aroma of Christ is only discernable to others.

Humility is the outpouring of the Spirit within us. Do not take credit or boast about being with Jesus, the effect of it is already evident to others. For those who are perishing we are the aroma of death, but to those who are being saved we are the aroma of Christ. (2 Corinthians 2:15)

Go make disciples and teach them how to sit at Jesus’ feet where His transforming power will change the flavor and course of their lives for eternity.


Here is an exercise for practicing sitting at Jesus’ feet:

Sit at His Feet with some “Be” Verses

Look these verses up in your Bible so you can read them in context.
Highlight the word ‘be’ or ‘being’ then consider what He desires us to be and why.
Ask yourself, “Is it for His sake or mine?”

  • Matthew 5:48
  • Matthew 16:6
  • Romans 4:21
  • Romans 10:9
  • Romans 12:2
  • Romans 12:10
  • Romans 12:12
  • 1 Corinthians 16:13
  • Ephesians 3:16-19
  • Ephesians 4:2
  • Ephesians 4:22-24
  • Ephesians 5:1-2
  • Ephesians 6:10
  • Philippians 1:9-11
  • Colossians 3:9-10
  • Colossians 4:2
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:16
  • Hebrews 12:14
  • James 1:2-4
  • 1 Peter 5:8
  • 2 Peter 1:5-8
  • Jude 22

 

What’s your story?

Don’t we all love a good story?

It is my desire that this blog include disciple maker and discipleship training stories for the benefit of the readers.

I have been a disciple maker for more than 20 years and I will confess that few of those disciples went on to make disciples.  I have met even fewer Christians who have been discipled.  From my perspective, there is a big black hole in today’s church when it comes to disciple making.

Due to the lack of disciple making in today’s church, your stories can add immense value to other’s lives by telling them how you were discipled and how you make disciples.

You can submit your disciple maker or discipleship training story by emailing it to us at stories@disciplemakers.community.

Guidelines for Stories:

  • No more than 1,500 words
  • Your story will be edited, if needed, at the discretion of disciplemaker.community
  • Keep your story to the subject of discipleship or disciple making

Here are some questions to prompt your writing process:

  1. If you were discipled, how long ago, by whom (no names necessary), how long were you in discipleship training?
  2. What material was used to disciple you?
  3. What was the setting of your discipleship training?  (restaurant, home, church, etc.)
  4. Did your disciple maker take you out to do street ministry, dormitory ministry, evangelism?
    1. In other words, was there a practical aspect to your discipleship training?
  5. What impact did discipleship training have on your life?
  6. Would you recommend discipleship training for others?
  7. Did you become a disciple maker?
  8. If yes, what are your methods of disciple making?
  9. If you are a disciple maker, what materials and methods do you employ?
  10. What is the duration of your discipleship training?

Broken Bread

I read Oswald Chambers’ devotional, My Utmost for His Highest, pretty much every day.  In the past few months I repeatedly encountered the phrase, “broken bread and poured out wine.”

This phrase is stuck in my mind and will not relent.

What does it mean to be broken bread and poured out wine?

Perhaps I think too much, but when God’s truth wants to get itself into me, it will not let me go until full comprehension is obtained.

In chewing on the phrase, “broken bread and poured out wine,” an image came to mind.  There is a little Italian restaurant I absolutely love not far from my home.  They have the best crusty bread on the planet.

In our Lord’s impeccable timing we met some friends at this little restaurant and the “broken bread and poured out wine” thing became crystal clear.

Here is a photo of the delicious crusty bread at Paravicinis Restaurant:

Paravicinis Bread

We pour olive oil and balsamic vinegar on a small plate for dipping.

There is one problem.  The crust on this bread is so hard it cannot absorb the delicious olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  I tried just to make sure.

Doesn't Absorb Anything

The crusty bread must be broken to facilitate exposing the porously soft bread within.

Take a look at what occurs when the bread is broken:

Absorption

The essence of being broken bread is to break the hard crust of our heart so we can absorb everything Christ needs us to be and desires us to comprehend in order to feed His sheep.

Brokenness is the hallmark of every disciple and disciple maker.

It is what keeps us on our knees; wholly dependent upon Him, sitting at His almighty feet perpetually learning, developing and maturing.


Addendum:

In the context of being disciple makers, I located this definition of being broken bread: 

The process of being made broken bread and poured-out wine means that you have to be the nourishment for other souls until they learn to feed on God.[1]

See the footnote for its source.  You may be a surprised as me.

 

 

[1]Chambers, O. (1993, c1935). My utmost for his highest : Selections for the year (February 9). Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Publishers.

Slow Down!

A Resource for Slowing Down and Hearing His Voice

One of the duties of discipleship is reading our Bible daily in order to hear His voice.  

Sometimes I find myself reading the Bible and gaining nothing because I raced through the passage, chapter, or required reading plan for the day.  Let’s face it, sometimes we sprint through the obligatory “Time Alone with God” as if it were another thing to check off the list.  When we sprint, we gain no insight, inspiration, or direction.

Some time ago, a seasoned saint taught me this fantastic method for slowing down.  It is designed to help us really hear God’s voice.

Hebrews 4:12 says the Word of God is living and active.  Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

If you want to experience the truth of Hebrews 4:12, this method of slowing down is surely the answer.  It isn’t something you would use daily, but when a verse of scripture captures your attention, implement this technique and teach it to others.

Here is how it works:

  1. Write a verse of scripture vertically
  2. Make a list of synonyms for each word of the verse
  3. Use your name when personal pronouns are used
  4. Rewrite the verse using the synonyms

Click the link below to see an example of what the finished process looks like.

Slow Down and Hear God’s Voice

 

I taught this method of slowing down to many over the past several years.  One of the women I taught it to went off for her day of personal retreat and implemented it on an entire chapter of Matthew.  Within that day, her entire countenance changed. If you haven’t heard God’s voice in a while this is a transforming exercise!