Being a Disciple of Jesus: To make disciples it is necessary to be clear on what a disciple is. This is so because one cannot help another become a disciple of Jesus without being a disciple of Jesus oneself. An Indian friend from Delhi expresses New Testament teaching well in this regard: What is a disciple?
As I reflect on my efforts to follow Christ and make disciples over the years I would express my understanding in this way: A disciple is moving towards the following character, commitments and behaviour:
A disciple of Jesus is becoming increasingly Christlike in character:
· willing to die to self (John 12) and serve others (Phil 2); all along exhibiting the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23).
A disciple of Jesus holds to:
· The Lordship of Jesus Christ without rivals
· The authority of the Scriptures in matters of faith and practice
· Living in a disciplined, purposeful manner towards the extension of God's Kingdom.
A disciple of Jesus:
· Exhibits the "one-anothers" of New Testament teaching
· Is making disciples
· Strong in the authority of Christ in resisting Satan where necessary (spiritual warfare)
Aligning with the mission of Jesus. Please consider reflecting on these steps in this process (offered by a friend who blogs on www.missionalchallenge.com). You could take these steps in 31 days or 31 weeks .... but I encourage you to choose a regular interval and start the process ...
Day 3: Catch the (10:2) Virus
Day 4: Learn to Think Missionally
Day 6: Engage with Your World
Day 8: Three Simple Skills
Day 9: Learning to Be a Blessing
Day 10: Start the Habit of Sharing Meals
Day 14: Turn Your Values into Practices
Day 16: Think and Act Like a Missionary
Day 17: What Function Has God Given You?
Day 18: Know Your Mission Field
Day 20: Teaching Them To Obey Everything
Day 21: Missional Transformation
Day 22: Simplify Your Life
Day 23: Be Generous
Day 24: Think Glocal
Day 25: Stop Being a Consumer Christian
Day 26: Start Being the Church
Day 28: Become a Missionalist
Day 29: Live in Incarnational Community
Day 30: Be a Life-Long Learner
Disciple Make Disciples: Jesus was clear on this central point. I'd like to share a couple tools and learnings I trust will be helpful:
Consider also one of the most helpful books I've come across in my 40 years as a follower of Christ to help grow in responding to the call of Jesus to make disciples:
Walter A. Henrichsen, Disciples Are Made, Not Born: How to Help Others Grow to Maturity in Christ, Cook Communications, Colorado Springs. (Sample pages, at the time of this writing, are available here.)
Disciple making movements: Jesus made disciples simply by living the life of the Kingdom with them and calling those who followed to go and make disciples also. Consider Jesus' teaching in Matthew 10 and Luke 10.
A basic means of helping others become disciples of Christ, live in the Kingdom of God and apply the truths of scripture has been called "Discovery Bible Study." The term used for a growth process towards obedience-based discipleship (as compared with disciple-making focused exclusively on knowledge or understanding). Knowledge is not contrary to obedience and the two should not be viewed as opposites, but discipleship cannot be considered complete without obedience. The essential goal of Discovery Bible Study is to discover both Christ and his call on our life.
For more detail please click here.
Here are some resources I commend to you for personal growth in discipleship, making disciples, and for church planting:
- More detailed coaching for:
those helping someone unfamiliar with the Bible's "love and rescue" story - "Discovering God" in PDF.
those helping new believers learn what it means to follow Christ - "Discovering Obedience Based Discipleship" in PDF
those helping communities in the process of knowing Christ embed the DNA of church into their social network - "Discovering Church Planting in PDF.
those helping new disciple-making communities - "Discover Leadership" for multiplication in PDF.
Additional background and support: