Disciple-making should not be complicated. In fact, the more complicated it is, the less likely your disciples will replicate your process. So take out a piece of paper to write down the absolute essentials of disciple-making.
What did you write down? To evaluate your process, count the number of essentials you wrote down. The longer the list, the more complicated your process will be to deliver the essentials.
I want to suggest these essentials: biblical, relational, life-impacting, and reproducible. Would your essentials fit somewhere into those four essentials? Allow me briefly to unpack each of these essentials:
- Biblical. Open God’s living Word together to listen to, apply, and respond to Him in prayer and obedience. This is not a study of a book called the Bible; it is the practice of listening to and obeying the God of the Bible.
- Relational. By its nature, disciple-making is relational; it is not a solo act. Disciple-making requires time spent together. We sharpen each other (Proverbs 27:17). Jesus intentionally gathered, discipled, and sent out disciples. Relational can easily include learning, example, accountability, and more.
- Life-impacting. Head knowledge about Jesus and God’s Word is not enough. Live lives that display difference resulting from your encounter with God in His Word. How is your disciple-making impacting your life and that of your disciple(s)?
- Reproducible. Is your process simple and memorable? If not, it will be changed, ignored, or forgotten. To be reproducible means there is an understanding of the process and the value (importance) for its essentials. Without importance, head knowledge may not be practiced.
Launching Your Process
After a season of prayer, what if you preached a series of messages about disciple-making? What if you invited the congregation or some of your friends to join you in prayer about disciple-making? What if you conversationally shared the essentials? At this point, extend no pressure to join anything.
What if you personally prayed to the Lord of the harvest to send workers (disciples) into the harvest? Ask the Lord to reveal 2-5 individuals into which you might invest. What if you started a group modeling the four essentials for those who joined you?
While you are investing in your group, ask them to pray to the Lord of the harvest and open their eyes for whom He will send. What if you asked your disciples to begin discipling their disciples while you are still together with your disciples so you can encourage them as they begin the process with their disciples?
Begin praying now. Observe those God may be sending. Enlist. Invest. Multiply even while still discipling. Make disciples!