The product of discipleship

Man was created for life and abundance in his relationships.  True discipleship can only be to live the same life of abundance which Jesus lived on earth.  Remember, true success lies in reproduction and true discipleship has to be the reproduction of Jesus’ life in every person on earth!  The purpose of discipleship is therefore to take every person on a journey where he/she can discover God by getting to recognize His voice and then adapting his/her life in obedience to what the Word says.

This process of awakening and transfer of life must then be carried on to as many other people as possible.  2 Timothy 2:1-2 – “So you, my son be strong in the grace that is to be found only in Christ Jesus.  And the instructions which you have heard from me along with many witnesses transmit and entrust to reliable and faithful men who will be competent and qualified to teach others also.”  Discipleship is an exponential matter. The more people are doing it the more people will get involved and the quicker people will get discipled.

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Scope of Great Commission

It is very important that we realize the extent or scope of the Great Commission in Matthew 28.

In the first place the order was not so much to reach all the nations, but to disciple all the nations.  The success of the Gospel is not only dependent on people hearing the Gospel, but that they are followers of Jesus who become like Him and do what He did.  True disciples are people who live like Jesus and not those who are only members of a church!

The further extent of the Great Commission was that a small group of about 120 people received the order to disciple the whole world.  Each congregation therefore, has the potential to disciple the whole world.

Is the congregation where you are involved, geared, ready, motivated and equipped to disciple the whole world?  We simply do not think this way, because we are definitely not convinced that it is possible.  The whole way in which we are running our congregation and building our infrastructure, is definitely not according to a mental attitude that we are going to infiltrate the whole world.  Everything is done in order to accommodate people and not to send them out to live as disciple makers.

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Mobilising faith communities and believers towards Kingdom Transformation

Within the Kingfisher family we look at the whole of our ministry through Kingdom coloured glasses. We are activists discipling the body of Christ towards a practical Kingdom lifestyle that will transform not only their own lives, but that of their communities and the rest of the world as well. In short, we guide and equip towards a Kingdom vision that will become a practical reality as Kingdom transformation starts to happen wherever Kingdom people are present.

The question is of course how to do it.

We do it by helping people to follow Jesus authentically, by hearing what He said and seeing what He did as we read the gospels, by being exposed by His way of thinking and doing until He himself impacts the follower with His presence and fullness of life. It is not our good material, our well designed strategies or planning that brings real transformation, but the presence of Christ himself through His Spirit that does the work.

When Jesus becomes real to you as you follow Him, you will begin to think like He did about life, about the community you live in, and the world around you. And when you see with your very own eyes how he opens up lives so that the Kingdom can break through in a practical way, it is impossible not to begin to do the same. Not only because He is a great example, but because in following Jesus you will be transformed towards His likeness as you become a blessing to others..

So mobilising for real change and transformation of a broken life, community and world starts with following Jesus, being impacted by Him and then living the Kingdom life in obedience and fulfilment of His expectations and goals.

To make it very clear and practical:

  • Kingdom missions begins with following Jesus
  • Kingdom aid and disaster relief begin with following Jesus
  • Kingdom development, care and education begin with following Jesus
  • Kingdom life in business and the workplace begins with following Jesus
  • Kingdom relationships begin with following Jesus
  • Kingdom communities begin with following Jesus

We do not do any of these things just because it is worth doing. We do it because we began to think like Jesus and started doing like Him as we are following Him.

 

 

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Free downloads

We have been requested to gather the blogs from the Following Jesus through Matthew series in a booklet. You may download the workbook for free as well as a guide giving advice how to use the material in a small group setting. Just click on the icon to download a pdf version.

Following in the footsteps of Jesus workbook - Pieter Steyn    Reading Matthew with others - Pieter Steyn

 

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Discipling mobilisers

Kingfisher logo2A decade and a half ago Kingfisher was established to mobilise the body of Christ towards action in a broken world. Our vision developed to be instruments in establishing God’s kingdom through disciple making, resulting in real transformational change in individuals and their communities.
We discovered that disciple-making is the engine for true Kingdom transformation and that despite a myriad of discipling material available, none addressed the vision of Kingdom Transformation in a practical grass roots manner better than working through the gospel of Matthew, following Jesus step by step.Therefore we decided to  follow Jesus on the same journey that we invite everyone of you reading this post. Therefore we provide this free tool, first of all to establish the foundation of a grassroots mobilising movement and secondly to contribute to the depth when those who live in the world the way Jesus did start to impact their communities in a tangible way.
Even more, this is a call for action, to follow Jesus in a practical everyday way. To be change agents in establishing His Kingdom according to His principles.
Let Your Kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven.
 Then a request: If you are a Kingfisher mobiliser, please help us by giving your response below. You may also respond by sending us a comment if you need more than a click to speak your mind.

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24. Does it work?

LAST SUPPER SCULPTURE

LAST SUPPER SCULPTURE

The questions we very often get are: “Does it work? Does disciple making like Jesus did actually bring results?”  And the answer is: Yes it works! Slowly but surely people start to follow Jesus and eventually begin to disciple others.

Johann Theron reports from Bulgaria:

Pastor Nasko and his small church of 35 believers in  Bulgaria, glorify God by implementing disciple making principles. For the past two years they rediscovered the value of Jesus’ strategy.

The Spirit laid two young Gypsies on his heart. In Bulgaria the Gypsies still stay in informal communities outside the towns and villages. The default of the Bulgarian population is to disconnect themselves from them – “they will only steal from you”. Nasko, however, decides to reconnect with these “untouchables”. He spends the bulk of his ministry time with them. He takes them to all ministry opportunities possible; teach them at all possible occasions. He opens up the privacy of his two bedroom apartment to them; take them on fishing expeditions. Personally, I very seldom saw Nasko without Galien and Lupcho 1-2 steps behind him.

In April this year I visited them again. Surprised to see that Nasko’s church has grown with 10 new members – 30 percent! A youth group of 8 new believers formed the worship team – all of them disciples of Galien and Lupcho! Nasko’s spiritual grandchildren.

In the same church they have a cell group of elderly women – they started reaching out to their neighbours – several other unbeliever babushkas (grandmothers) now join this small group on a weekly basis – they don’t feel free to join the church due to many wrong perceptions about the church and also because of what churches did to people in the past. This however, presents no problem for Nasko. He has grown into a Kingdom pastor – not thinking about an attractional church in the first instance. Being part of the cell group makes them church as well – Nasko can easily accommodate different models within his own sphere of influence.

Nasko’s wife, Mariana, discovered that her workplace is her ministry – the place where she is sent to by God – her calling by God – her disciple making space. She accepted her class as her spiritual responsibility – showing and teaching them evangelical values, purposefully building relationships with them inside and outside the school – simply loving them. Mariana is one of 4 such teachers  that lectures the same grade. In the Bulgarian system parents can choose the teacher of their children. She says that wherever she meets parents in the streets, they all approach her and ask if their children can please be in her class – there is something different about her and her class.

Disciple making is the engine of transformation. ”

 

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23. Back to a beginning!

We have come full circle. Jesus called his disciples with the words: “Come, follow me and I will make you fishers of men.”  Then he did exactly that and taught them, influenced, them shaped and sometimes scolded them. He made them his disciples in every possible way and eventually turned them into fishers of men with the words:  “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations … teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”

Read Matthew 28:16-20

  1. If you followed Jesus up to this point, you just now received clear instructions what to do next. What are his instructions? How are you going to do it?
  2. If you are getting nervous and afraid of carrying out the instructions, there is a promise from Jesus himself that will help on the way. What is that promise?
  3. This was just the beginning. You are going to learn even more about how to think like Jesus and how to be like him. Much of what you learn will be as you go along obeying what he said. You will make disciples just as he did, exactly as he disciples you. How? Write it down. What are the next step and if you can see further, the next two or three steps that you going to take in faith?
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22. The fifth checkpoint

The fifth checkpoint is to identify so much with Jesus that you are willing to follow him up to the cross, into death and eventually would rise with him in his resurrection.  According to available evidence the young men all deserted him, with the possible exception of the young boy John, who followed him with some of the women at a distance to the cross.

Read Matthew 26:26-46

  1. How much do you identify with Jesus? Will it be up to the point of death? This is what the young disciples faced, without knowing as much as we know about a coming resurrection. So this was another checkpoint and first one of them and then all deserted Him.
  2. How do we follow him then up to the cross and beyond even if his closest disciples failed Him? Paul shows us that in a real way baptism is about dying with Christ and being resurrected with him. The mystery is that when I symbolically die in baptism, spiritually the symbol becomes reality.
  3. Are you ready to die?  Even though we know that Jesus died in our place and that this identification with Him will mean that we will get death and resurrection without going through the physical experience as He did, it is still death of the old man and resurrection into the new life.
  4. How will you take the next step following Jesus? What will be waiting for you then, death or life?

PS: Of course you now realise that at least for you this could be the ultimate moment in identifying with Jesus whichever way your life turns out from now on. This is the point Matthew’s whole story had been aiming at. This is the climax.

We do not know when the individual disciples experienced this revelation. Was it at when Jesus first called them? Was it at one of the checkpoints on the way or was it during a quite ordinary day? Was it during the days and weeks after Jesus died and was resurrected? We simply do not know. What we know is that what happened was so tremendous that the whole world would be changed by their message.

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21. Kingdom transformation for spiritual leaders

As time was running out and the cross started to loom ahead, Jesus’ prophetic approach became stronger and stronger.

He deliberately started to confront the spiritual leaders of is time, the Pharisees with whom he had much in common in theory and the Sadducees that ran the temple for personal gain.

He took his disciples into the synagogues and eventually the temple itself, exposing them to the intense debates and sharp words.

At this point the disciples did not understand yet.

Within a few weeks they would have to be able to stand against the religious officials who wanted to kill off the subverting Jesus movement by force.

Read at least Matthew 23:1-39 and if you want to get a bigger picture, at least up to the end of chapter 25.

  1. Which standards did Jesus use to measure the spiritual leaders of his times against? Make a list.
  2. What do you think wanted Jesus the outcomes to be by exposing the disciples to his interaction with the spiritual leaders.
  3. What on earth should we do in our own context?

 

 

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20. Like Jesus: Love as a verb

compassion-1Every Jew in Jesus time recited the Shema, (named  so after the first word of the text in Hebrew) often more than once a day as we find it in Deuteronomy :” Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.  Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength”. This was the creed, prayer and focus of their faith. When Jesus was asked about the core of his beliefs and lifestyle he quoted this verse. And added to it another verse from Leviticus. (Deut 6:1-6 and Lev 19:18)

Read Matthew 22:34-40

  1. Recite Jesus’s direct words out loud. Do it with passion! This is the essence of what Jesus believed, taught and lived. Repeat until you will be able to remember it well.
  2. Think about the faith journey up to now, about what you experienced and how the Lord led you to follow him. Remind each other how all of this fits into these few words. You can become like Jesus by loving as he did. There is no choice to be made between loving God and loving other people that crosses your path. Minister to each other with God’s love.

In the end, it is only love that remains.

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