Overcoming Disciple-Making Excuses

We know Jesus invested three years of His life in training a dozen disciples to carry on His mission of disciple-making. We know He sent sent His followers to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19-20), and we understand that His mission has touched us, changed us, and given us the same mission today. Despite these facts, disciple-making excuses are far too common. How do we overcome these excuses?

Five Common Excuses

  • I don’t have time. We make time for what is important. The word, “go” in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) is best translated “as you are going.” Jesus commanded us to make disciples as we go through life.
  • I don’t know how. Practice and share what (and Who) you know. Read the Bible and pray. Study together. Seek help when confused, and apologize when you stumble. Seek training, but continue investing in others.
  • I’ve never been discipled. Did someone share Jesus with you? Have you heard preaching, or have you been in a Sunday School class? Then you have been discipled! While we all can benefit from intentional discipling, that does not let us off the hook from discipling others in the meantime.
  • That’s why we pay the pastor. This one is just wrong. Paul was clear that pastors and others are to equip “the saints for the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ…” (Ephesian 4:12, CSB).
  • The church has never asked and trained me. This may be the most legitimate excuse of them all, but Jesus asked us and His life is our example. Study the Bible, Jesus’ words, and His life. That is the best training course you will find, and it is great material for disciple-making.

Overcoming Excuses

I want to draw from a helpful article by Nathan Creitz entitled 7 Reasons You’re Not Making Disciples. Here are seven suggestions for overcoming these disciple-making excuses:

  • obey
  • pray
  • prepare
  • share
  • flee
  • endure
  • seek accountability.

When any of these are ignored, disciple-making excuses are common. Work on these. Be a disciple, and help others to do the same. For additional ideas, check out Lawless on Discipleship. Make disciples!

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