The Call to Disciple-making

Ask 10 church planters what the church is supposed to do and at least 9 of them, if not all 10 would point you back to the Great Commission. “Go therefore and make disciples…” Jesus told his disciples as he was challenging them with his final words before ascending to heaven. Ask those same church planters how to make disciples, and you’ll get 10 different answers!

I think that sometimes we get so busy in the tasks and responsibilities of leading a ministry that we forget to keep disciple-making as the main thing in our churches. Thankfully, there is a resurgence of disciple-making in the North American Church.

Robert Coleman, in his classic “Master Plan of Evangelism” examined how Jesus intentionally prepared, selected, equipped and deployed his discipled. If you haven’t read that book lately, it would be a good one to take your leadership team through.

Disciple-making is not about getting the right curriculum to take everyone through. It’s about engaging people in a relational process of becoming like Jesus, living like Jesus, and loving like Jesus. Then reproducing that in another generation of Christ followers. As you think through your ministry strategy, keep in mind these seven characteristics of disciple-making to infuse into the DNA of your church:

  • Spiritual disciplines – practices that help us grow closer to Jesus
  • Relational – loving others like Jesus in authentic community
  • Missional living – engaging the world around us like Jesus
  • Biblical truth – growing in biblical understanding so that we think like Jesus
  • Experiential – regular activities such as mission trips, prayer walking, serving the poor and sharing your faith help to move truth from the head to the heart
  • Character transformation – becoming like Jesus as the Holy Spirit brings renewal
  • Multiplication – reproducing disciples like Jesus did

If you haven’t started yet, prayerfully invite a group of 5 or so people to join you for a journey of disciple-making! I meet with my group of 5 guys on Sundays @ 7:30a and we’re going through my favorite, “Discipleship Essentials” by Greg Ogden. They’ve already committed to finding another group of guys to each take them through a relational disciple-making process when we finish. Join me in this disciple-making movement and we’ll see God impact our communities with his love!

Dave Stewart

Discipleship Pastor, Venture Christian Church