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