Repentance and disciple making

In Matthew 4:17 Jesus announces the breaking through of the Kingdom of God and raises a call of repentance. In a study of the specific word for repentance that Jesus used it was found that for Jews living at the time of Jesus, “repentance” meant “a fundamental change in thinking and living”. Immediately in the next verse we find the call to follow Jesus as disciple accompanied by the signs of the coming of the Kingdom. Could it be that by repentance Jesus meant in this instance the whole process of discipling up to Matthew 28? Could it be that in following Jesus, He renewed their minds and their conduct to be more and more in line with Him, forging Kingdom transformation over the period of three years? Did your world-view change since following Jesus? PS

Do you know how to journey with unbelievers?

The assignment Jesus gave to his disciples just before He ascended was: “Go and make disciples of all nations …”. The task of this group of believers was not to disciple the existing believers, but to disciple all nations – those who still do not believe, because Jesus came to save those who are lost. The discipleship of believers, however, is established in our ecclesiastical thinking. We are bringing people out of the world and bring them into church programs and we call it discipleship. The problem remains, however, that few disciples after their “discipleship training”, ever again become involved in unbelievers’ lives, because they no longer know how to communicate with unbelievers. We “discipled” them in the presence of only believers. The result – they no longer know how to journey with unbelievers.

Disciple making quotes

“The church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ, to make them little Christs. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time. God became man for no other purpose.” ~ C.S. Lewis
“Success should be measured not by how many disciples are made, but by how many disciples are making other disciples.” Bill Hull
“The greatest issue facing the world today, with all its heartbreaking needs, is whether those who, by profession or culture, are identified as ‘Christians’ will become disciples – students, apprentices, practitioners – of Jesus Christ, steadily learning from him how to live the life of the Kingdom of the Heavens into every corner  of human existence.” Dallas Willard
“Ultimately each church will be evaluated by only one thing, its disciples. Your church is only as good as its disciples.
It does not matter how good your praise, preaching, programs or property are. If your disciples are passive, needy, consumeristic, and not moving in the direction of radical obedience, your church is not good.”
 ~ Neil Cole

Something better than drawing multitudes (Neil Cole)

We must remind ourselves that there is something better than drawing multitudes to our services. Jesus often turned away from the multitudes and was even know to turn away the multitudes with hard words. More people attending does not mean success. Nicer buildings does not mean your church is any better. The key to a healthy church is not better messages, better music, better methods, and more money. It is time to abandon those ideas and search for how the Kingdom is truly meant to expand.

E.M.Bounds once wrote, “Men are looking for better methods, God is looking for better men.” One of the driving convictions of our movement is summarized in the statement: A church is only as good as her disciples. Healthy disciples make up a healthy church. Reproducing disciples will make a reproducing church.

Neil Cole

Quotes from ‘Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples’

“we reduce discipleship to a canned program, and so many in the church end up sidelined in a spectator mentality that delegates disciple making to pastors and professionals, ministers and missionaries. But this is not the way it’s supposed to be.”

“But making disciples is far more than a program. It is the mission of our lives. It defines us. A disciple is a disciple maker.”

“Discipleship is all about living life together rather than just one structured meeting per week.”

“Proclaiming the gospel to a lost world cannot be just another activity to add to the church’s crowded agenda. It must be central to who we are. It forms our identity.”
― Francis Chan, Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples

Disciple making bombshells

1) All the nations will only become discipled if all the believers start discipling the unbelievers.

2) Each group of believers or congregation has the potential to disciple all the nations. They just don’t think like that about themselves.

3) The end product of disciple making is people who live like Jesus.

4) The key elements of disciple making are as follows:

  • Accountability towards one another (group)
  • Abiding in the WORD (obedience)
  • LOVE for one another
  • WITNESSING towards others

5) The focus of believers should be to disciple unbelievers. Believers are only discipled by going out and discipling unbelievers.

6) Disciple making is not about the transfer of information, but about the transformation of lives. Disciple making has no meaning if people do not live what they talk.

Discipleship is an identity-driven lifestyle

Discipleship is about identity. All people live according to the understanding of their identities. You can only find your identity in the Word, in the presence of the Father, and you can only establish your identity by living it among others and by helping them with their identities. In short: You can only become a true disciple by discipling others! You can only learn to swim by jumping into a swimming pool and learning to swim within the atmosphere of water. You can only learn to manage relationships by having relationships with other people.
Somewhere along the line we have to start being honest and bring everything that we do in a congregation in line with this. There has always been only ONE commission from the Lord and that is to disciple the nations. There is still only ONE commandment from God and that is love! Let us stay with this and stop trying to find ten other things pretending it would help the process of discipleship along the way. Believers only become good disciples by discipling other people. No course can equip you, except to go and do what we have been commissioned to do. May the Father give us grace to become faithful to His Word and not to our church programs.

Disciple making is behaviour, relationship and life based – it is not about what you know, but what you live and how you obey God.

The tragedy today is that many religious people are highly informed people with huge amounts of knowledge, but they do not necessarily live any of it. You can not make disciples of Jesus by giving people huge amounts of knowledge. Making disciples depend much more on your behaviour, relationships, life skills, character and attitude. These are matters that count in the Kingdom. In the first place the Lord does not want to know how much you know and how many degrees and courses you have done, but how much of the Word you are living. If you do not know how much of the Word you are living, ask the simplest person you know and you will get a clear indication. Disciple making happens in living life together with people and by living it in obedience to the Lord.