Whose disciples are you making? This is a serious question that demands caution and a serious response. There are only two acceptable answers, and the second is ultimately the only choice:
- a disciple of me as I follow Jesus
- Jesus (ultimate choice).
But I want to caution you about disciple-making efforts that dilute or divert the focus. Heed the warning in James 3:1. Avoid the consequences from mishandling teaching and disciple-making efforts.
What are ways that our disciple-making can go awry? Consider the following list of evaluation areas:
- talking about your example and life more than that of Jesus
- focusing on books (even biblically based books) more than the Bible
- focusing on personal behavior disconnected from relationship with Jesus and knowledge of His Word
- emphasizing knowledge of scripture disconnected from obedience
- focusing on judgment disconnected from grace
- focusing on my rights and preferences versus surrender
- encouraging cocooning rather than connecting fully with the body of Christ (church)
- focusing on the biblical context disconnected from life application today.
Evaluate your personal discipleship and your disciple-making efforts. If a caution applies, make adjustments in your practice. If multiple cautions apply, work on one at a time until you are satisfied the adjustment has been successful. Then work on the next one.
Ask someone to help you. Working together on this is worth the time. It keeps us encouraged and on track. Disciple-making is worth the effort. Make disciples!