In calling the disciples, Andrew and Peter, Jesus said, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19). Jesus’ life and teaching were a demonstration of His disciple-making plan. Jesus established the model.
Take out a piece of paper and make three column. Write down Before, When, and After as headings for the columns. Then think about what Jesus did before calling the disciples, when He called them, and after He called them. Write what He did at each step which prepared them to be disciples and ultimately to be disciple-makers.
In order to develop Christ-followers (Matthew 4:19), we must not ignore Jesus’ example in developing our disciple-making strategy. The result of my study of Jesus’ example looked something like this:
- be an example before them in what you model and teach
- pray for the disciples God wants to send to you
- observe them: gather evidence of what God is doing in their lives
- personally enlist those God has led you to invest in, sharing the evidence you have seen
- walk through life together, sharing experiences and teachable moments
- study God’s Word, ask questions, and pray together
- give assignments for learning and for obedience
- check on understanding, spiritual vitality, application, and progress
- establish growing expectations
- walk them toward Kingdom service, investment, and multiplication
Can you see Jesus’ life and example in this strategy? Can you picture times when He did each one with the disciples? What would you add to the list? Press Comments and share your thoughts, strategy, and suggested actions.
In our strategy, we could add a couple of addition items:11. don’t be surprised at some failure (Judas and Peter, for example) 12. when needed, adjust the plan according to needs and individuals but don’t stray far from our Lord’s example
Don’t rush to develop your strategy before looking thoroughly at Jesus’ example of disciple-making. At the same time, don’t neglect to “make disciples of all nations” just because your strategy still needs a bit of work. Pray, practice, and adjust. Make disciples!