How do you make disciples?
It’s a great question and an important one too. Last Sunday I shared that Jesus didn’t leave his disciples with a 7-step program to making disciples. This is true.
But he did give his followers the Holy Spirit and some guidance. Maybe not a 7-step program but a relational way of life that builds bridges, creates connections, and start the journey of discipleship.
So this Sunday we’re going to discover together a characteristic that is intrinsic to the very nature of the church. We’re going to discover together something we are all called to be that is often the beginning of making a disciple.
Before we get there though: what do you think? How do you make disciples? What’s worked? What hasn’t? What have you learned that you might share with us?
2 thoughts on “How do you make disciples? #missional”
Very interesting question this week pastor.
How do we make disciples? Well there are a lot of people out there telling me different ways. And again not being an expert in theology, I will explain it how I see it. (Maybe I should write a book, “the bible according to an accountant”
The way I make disciples, is I get involved in people’s lives. I don’t try to disciple too many people. Currently I have 8 people I would say I am currently actively trying to disciple.
1) Pray for them daily
2) invite them into your life, meaning be open with them about your successes and failures. (No one really likes when we are perfect, I save that face for sunday morning!)
3) Make “disciple making disciples”. If we just make disciples then I wonder if we really make a disciple. However if we make a disciple who makes a disciple, who makes a disciple, then I would consider that I have made a disciple. (So according to this, how many disciples have I made? 5 or 6 in my life)
What has worked?
1)Having parties at our house. For the past 3 years we have had a lot of people in our house. Now, very few of these have been from our church, and a part me of feels like I still don’t really know many people in our church. That discussion is for another day. Anyways having people over to our house has created some interesting opportunity for new friends.
What Hasn’t worked?
This answer will be both what hasn’t and has worked.
1) Running Programs hasn’t worked in itself. For 7 years I ran a youth program, where I was the key disciple maker. I thought that if people came to my program they would be a better follower of Jesus. However I soon realized that the program was like a party that introduced me to the teens, and allowed me to build relationships. Then what happened next is what worked. I shifted my focus to investing in leaders. If my program wasn’t working and if it was the one on one time that did work, then I needed more people. My job was to make disciples who made disciples. So I took a different approach. I focused on developing my leaders to make “disciple making disciples” This empowered others to do the same, and changed the focus from me being the key disciple maker to everyone being a disciple maker.
First off I would love to read a book entitled, “The Bible According to an Accountant”. I love your how to’s. Being apart of people’s lives, being authentic, praying, and focusing on long-term growth I think is the foundation to making disciple.
So often I think we rush people to Christ – so that the job of discipling is finished. But that’s not the end, like you said, its the middle. A disciple is someone who has made another disciple. And I also agree that we need to invite people into our homes and lives.
I don’t think we can create disciples from a distance. Its an intimate thing.
And I think you are right about programs. Programs don’t make make disciples; people make disciples. So I’m not sure we need better programs but better people. But creating people, developing leaders, and investing in relationships is a long – but worthwhile process. I think shifting the focus to your leaders, is the right choice. But it’s a long-term choice. There is an old Chinese proverb that helps me keep it all in perspective
If your vision is for a year, plan wheat.
If your vision is for ten years, plant trees.
If your vision is for a lifetime, plant people.