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
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.
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
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.
“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
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.
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.