Five Ways to Make Disciples, Part 5

We’ve looked at five layers of disciple making. Here they are:

  1. “Platform Discipleship”…the preaching and teaching by your pastor and staff.
  2. Utilizing your Sunday School.  To keep the P’s going (hey I’m a preacher get over it) let’s call this layer “Public Discipleship” because it has the most people already in classes or groups ready to be discipled.
  3. Discipleship classes/small groups. We sometimes call this “Program Discipleship;” however, remember one does not become a disciple by a program per se.
  4. “One on one” or “Personal Discipleship.”  This encompasses the whole realm of mentoring and life coaching.

The last one is one that I think has been the most overlooked is…

5. “Parental Discipleship.”  This is where Mom’s and Dad’s teach and model discipleship before their kids in the home.

If we can equip parents to instill biblical values in their children, we will see much stronger families who are on the discipleship journey together. This should be the number one method of impacting the next generation.

Let me give you seven steps to being a better parent and thus a better disciple maker in the home. These came from an article written by my friend Chuck Gartman.

  • Teach Christian values. As parents we need to identify, live, and communicate our values. If we value truth and honesty, we must be honest and adhere to biblical standards. We need to believe and teach our teens that the only truth in the world that matters is in the Scriptures.
  • Express love and acceptance of our children. Even when their behavior disappoints us, we must continue to let them know that we love them. Genuine love for our children will grow out of our awareness that we are genuinely loved by God. It’s not always easy, but unconditional love is necessary. We also need to teach our children about God’s love. God’s love is solid and secure. He adopted us into His family, and He knows our needs and will provide them. Your teens need to know and accept these truths.
  • Be consistent with discipline. Our goal is that our children will ultimately become self-disciplined and self-controlled. If discipline does not eventually become internal, no amount of outside pressure to conform will make a teenager a spiritually healthy person.
  • Pray continually for and about our children. God is more concerned for them than we possibly can be, so He welcomes our conversations with Him about them. With every prayer and request, pray at all times in the Spirit, and stay alert in this, with all perseverance and intercession for all the saints (Eph. 6:18).
  • Worship together as a family. Participating in regular worship, both corporately and personally, will move us all toward spiritual health. We cannot hope that our children will grow to be faithful worshipers of the Lord if we refuse to do so. Let worship become a lifestyle for you, and your teens will likely catch it from you. Also, remember that personal and family worship are important as well.
  • Be active participants in the work of the church. Remember to balance your time with your family and in your church activities; but, again, if you want your youth to participate in church activities, you must do the same. Dropping them off at youth activities will not teach them to be faithful church members.
  • Participate in ministries that are designed for you as a parent. When a seminar or class is offered to help parents be better at their jobs, be sure to go. It will communicate volumes to your teen when they see that you are trying to improve in your parenting skills.

Question: What can your church do to equip parents to disciple their children in the home? Materials, process, training, encouraging, etc.

Write it down. Nothing becomes dynamic unless it becomes specific. Of these five discipleship components, what can you do to improve discipleship at your church?

Keep the Son in your Eyes,

Mike James


  1. Thanks for reading this blog. These five are not the only ones but seem to be the main ones I see churches utilize.
    Blessings as you make disciples,

  2. Pingback: Go and Make Disciples | Pastor Huff

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