Since this is my first blog post on this new blog, let me begin by saying I am not a licensed disciple maker. There is no such license to be obtained.
Disciple making is an assignment.
Disciple Makers has been created as a resource for disciple makers or those who want to know what a disciple maker is, does, and how they accomplish the assignment given to all Christians.
I hope you will find encouragement and inspiration to become a disciple maker who influences others for eternity.
Let’s begin by answering some basic questions.
What is a disciple?
A disciple is a learner. The Greek word for disciple is mathetes; to learn, to understand. A learner, pupil. A disciple is an adherent who accepts the instruction given to him and makes it his rule of conduct.1
A disciple never stops learning because the Holy Spirit never stops teaching. A disciple can read a familiar passage or verse in their bible for the one hundredth time and glean something they never understood before.
A disciple yearns to follow closely, learn incessantly, and joyfully distribute what they are learning.
What is a disciple maker?
A disciple maker is a disciple who distributes what they know and are learning. If you are still learning, then you have all manner of thirst quenching merchandise (knowledge and wisdom) to share with someone else. In all instances, a disciple maker is a disciple who learns along with others in a disciplined progression on the road to godliness.
I was discipled in the early 1980s by a woman who is one month older than I. I wasn’t a believer when we began the process of discipleship training so she had her work cut out for her because I was a very tough nut to crack. This woman was my first introduction to discipleship training and disciple makers. Her role as a disciple maker included evangelism which is not at all uncommon.
I became a believer within months of entering into discipleship training and the Lord opened my heart, soul and mind to become His child and a consuming learner – a disciple. It wasn’t just head knowledge; it was heart knowledge that was being imparted through that courageous disciple maker.
The story of my journey to salvation and discipleship training is available on another post that you can read here.
A question the Body of Christ has been trying to answer for some time now is,
“Why are so few Christians making disciples?”
The first and biggest objection to the concept of disciple making is the I-Don’t-Know-Enough Syndrome.
I heard this objection not too long ago from a woman I discipled years ago. I was encouraging her to become a disciple maker and she said, “I don’t know what you know.” My answer to her was, “Go with what you know. You know different things than I know and you will learn along with whomever you are discipling.”
Most of us feel completely ill-equipped to disciple another soul or feel responsible for the education of another, but what are we doing with Jesus’ command in Matthew 28:19? Are we free to toss it out because we feel ill-equipped?
Here is a bit of wise advice: Our feelings will hinder us every step of this Christian journey. Our feelings have become our false god in America. We let our feelings rule our steps instead of the persuasion of the Holy Spirit. Feelings are temporary emotions fueled by our uncertainty.
Take a look at the original twelve disciples who followed Jesus for three years. They were fishermen, a tax collector, and a political zealot. They weren’t college graduates or seminary grads. They were ordinary men.
Lydia, the first European convert to Christianity, was an astute business woman. What did she know about Jesus other than what the Apostle Paul told her about him? She ran to tell her friends and family everything she had just learned. She is one of many biblical characters who demonstrate the principle of go-with-what-you-know.
You know more than you imagine and what occurs in discipleship training is as much for your benefit as it is for those in the group. The relationships birthed in discipleship training remain for a lifetime – and I dare say – for all eternity. Though I have been separated by more than one thousand miles from the woman who discipled me and the one who was discipled along with me, we remain in one another’s hearts because we are bound with the common experience of discipleship training. Disciple Making is a gift you give to others and yourself.
Take courage! Go with what you know!
When I began discipleship training 30-plus years ago we began by memorizing the books of the Bible; first the New Testament, then the Old Testament because that was where we needed to begin. When our disciple maker realized we had to go to the table of contents to find verses, she capitalized on the need for us to memorize them. Come to think of it, I could use some review on that again.
Dare to believe that you possess what someone else is longing and praying for. Pray the Lord would set one or two people on your heart and invite them to meet with you weekly. Begin the process of disciple making with a prayer and He will make the way clear!
I can guarantee you will receive immeasurably more than you can possibly imagine!
Read the following passage every morning this week. Write it on a slip of paper or put it on your electronic devise. Read when you are getting ready for work or while you are eating breakfast – just read it each day however it works for you.
Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV)
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Meditate on this passage all day long as you go about your regular routine. Let it roll around in your thoughts all day long. It will be helpful to right down your thoughts at the end of each day. Simply write one to three things on a page in a journal each day.
Come back here at the end of the week and make a comment on what you learned and received from these verses.
Great Tip for Bible Reading, Study, and Meditation:
I like to funnel scripture through a time-tested journalism filter because it helps me meditate on scripture:
(5 Ws and an H)
• Who? Who is speaking? Who is he speaking to?
• What? What is he telling them? Is it a promise, command or a statement?
• When? When is he telling them? At what point in time?
• Where? Where is he telling them?
• Why? Why is he telling them? Why is this important?
• How? How am I to accomplish or fulfill what he is telling me? How is it possible to fulfill this command? Can I accomplish this on my own?
Thank you for joining me at Disciple Makers. Stay tuned for my weekly posts and stories. You can receive them via email if you subscribe to this feed.
- Zodhiates, S. (2000, c1992, c1993). The complete word study dictionary : New Testament (electronic ed.) (G3101). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.