Summary: Making Disciples; Making a Difference Looking at a Reprouicible Process
Making Disciples; Making a Difference
Looking at a Reproducible Process
We started this series seeing Jesus describing the win for us as making disciples. We saw that a disciple is someone who follows Christ; is being changed by Christ; and is committed to the mission of Christ. Then we looked at a disciples’ stages of growth. The last three weeks we have been looking at the three keys to making disciples - Intentional Leaders + Relational Environment + Reproducible Process = Multiplying Disciples. This week, we are looking at Jesus’ reproducible process. We are not talking about another program but a process in which all of us can engage in make disciples. It is an intentional process because God is intentional about forming Christ in us. An intentional process helps us cooperate with the process God already has each of us in. If we are not intentional we will make disciples by chance and not by design. If making disciples is the central task God has given to each of us, all of us must ask ourselves, ‘what does this series mean for me?’ ‘How is God asking me to respond?’ So lets take a look at Jesus’ reproducible process.
1. Jesus Modeled Winning Disciples (John 4)
Jesus reached out to the spiritually dead, those who needed life as he did with the woman at the well. He shared with them because he cared about them. When I lived in Los Angeles, we had salespeople come to the door all the time. They wanted you to think they cared about you and maybe they even believed in the product but they were there for one reason, to make a sale. We share with people because we care about them. Sharing the gospel is one begger who has bread crumbs to give to another begger. It is like a research scientist who has found the cure for a virus everyone infected with and offers it to those who want it. It is not because we have to but because we have the truth and a concern that those outside of Christ face a Christless eternity.
2. Jesus Modeled Training Disicples
When someone comes to faith in Christ, they are spiritual infants; they need lots of questions answered. They need help understanding their new relationship with God and how they can grow as a disciple. Jesus did not leave the woman or her village alone but spent two days with them sharing new truths and new habits they would need to grow in their faith. Spiritual infants need to connect with spiritual family so that the family can help care for them. You see this even more clearly with the apostles as they went from city to city preaching and establishing churches. They shared the gospel, they connected people with God and they connected them together as spiritual family. As they grew spiritually, they trained them to serve one another, developing others who could make disciples, and then left for another city. As disciples move form being spiritual infants to becoming spiritual children they need to connect with spiritual family to move forward, grow in their faith. Relationships are a necessary means of Christ being formed in us. It is easy to be spiritual all alone. Most of our shaping comes as we rub shoulders with others. Everybody is likeable until you get to know them. That is why Jesus chose the twelve and spent three years with them. The discipleship growth process is highly relational. The church is called a body and a family, because we are organically related and need each other. The family metaphor points to the smaller group like a Life Group. All of us are in a process of Christ being formed in us. Some of are spiritual infants, some of us are spiritual children, others of us are spiritual young adults, and even others of us are spiritual parents.
Jesus trained his disciples to serve others, to get involved in the game. It is a necessary part of the growth process to serve in the kingdom and in the church family. As children become young adults, they become less self centered and begin to care more about the needs of others. Some of us do not have the habit of serving and as a result you are stunted in your spiritual growth. You have wondered why you are not moving forward and it is because you are not serving others. The body, your spiritual family, is also missing out on your being a blessing to us.
Spiritual infants need to focus on new truths and new habits to grow; spiritual children need to be connected to spiritual family to grow; spiritual young adults need to engage in serving, find their place and their purpose in the body. And as they mature they need to be released or sent to make disciples of others.