Four Ways to Make Disciples

I recently read a great post by Matt Morris who serves as a Brand Manager at LifeWay Christian Resources. Matt’s post was The Three Ways to Disciple Someone. I want to encourage you to read his entire post. His commentary on each of these three ways is helpful:

  • one-to-many,
  • one-to-few, and
  • one-on-one.

One-to-many. Can you think of some instances when in the church when discipling happens one-to-many? That may describe worship, Sunday School classes, choir, small groups, and other groups. Evaluate your church’s effectiveness of these efforts are in making disciples of Jesus.

One-to-few. What about instances in the church when discipling happens one-to-few? As Matt describes, these efforts are usually single gender groups: men or women. This might be men’s groups, WMU groups, accountability groups, or smaller Sunday School or small groups. Again, evaluate your church’s effectiveness of these efforts in making disciples of Jesus.

One-on-one. Does your church offer instances of discipling one-on-one? This may be organized or spontaneous, formal or informal. While these may be individual discipling conversations, there is even greater impact from ongoing investment–usually weekly. This may be a teacher training another teacher, an encourager investing in a new member, a teacher investing in a child, a teenager helping a friend, a Christian businesswoman investing in another, and more. Again, evaluate church effectiveness of these efforts in making disciples of Jesus.

Personal discipling. In addition to these three ways of making disciples, I want to suggest an important fourth way: personal discipling. You cannot invest well in one-to-many, one-to-few, or one-on-one if you are not growing as a disciple. Your personal relationship with God must be fresh. Daily time is needed in Bible study and prayer, having conversation with God (listening and responding to what He is saying). Again, honestly evaluate effectiveness of your personal efforts in personal discipling. Are you fresh or stale? Are you drifting or connected? Are you listening or too busy?

Let me throw out one word of caution: be careful that your discipling efforts flow in (personal discipling) and flow out by investing in others. The reason the Dead Sea is dead is that water only flows in. The Sea of Galilee is teaming with life because water flows in and out. Be alive in your discipling. Do both. Make disciples!

By the way, the featured picture was taken on the Sea of Galilee back in March. For more ideas about disciple-making, check out these posts:

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