How can we carry out this command? How can we “make disciples of ALL NATIONS” (emphasis added). I want to suggest an overly simple answer: ONE AT A TIME.
I have often had the reply, “But where do I start?” Related questions include:
- What materials do I use?
- How often do we meet?
- I prefer relational rather than programmatic. Is that okay?
- I was never discipled. I don’t know how.
Obviously each discipleship opportunity varies according to the individuals involved, their experiences and interests, and their maturity in Christ. While many methods are possible, it is important to utilize one that produces results. That begs the question, what results are desired and being produced though the methods chosen?
For simplicity, what if we focused discipleship expectations through the lenses of two things Jesus said?
“Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19)
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20a)
Where would these words of Jesus lead you to focus in the lives of brand new believers? lukewarm Christians? experienced but stagnant Christians?
What would you do in the first six weeks? first six months? first year? At what point would they be ready to multiply your investment into others?
How would you encourage them? How would you best challenge them? What would you tell them? What would you do together with them? What would you ask them to do?
What thinking and practices should be experienced at each stage of your discipling efforts? Let’s have a conversation. Share your ideas and experience. Press Comments and share your thoughts.
Allow me to close with this illustration:
One day a lady criticized D. L. Moody for his methods of evangelism in attempting to win people to the Lord. Moody’s reply was “I agree with you. I don’t like the way I do it either. Tell me, how do you do it?” The lady replied, “I don’t do it.” Moody retorted, “Then I like my way of doing it better than your way of not doing it.”
Contributed by: David Yarbrough; Source: James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) p. 178.
Start now. Start somewhere. Jesus expects it. They deserve it. You can do it. Make disciples!
For more ideas about disciple-making, check out these blog posts: