Summary: The Art and Science of Disciplemaking. How to overcome the tendency to just be a spectator Christian.
The Art and Science of Disciple-Making
Most Christians are content to be spectators instead of becoming obedient disciple-makers. True blessings, power and fulfillment is found in being a multiplying disciple-maker. Let us see how we can think, do and become what the Lord’s will for our life is. Failure to do so is a sure recipe for self-destructive behavior and thinking.
Illustration: The African impala can jump to a height of over 10 feet and cover a distance of greater than 30 feet. Yet these magnificent creatures can be kept in an enclosure in any zoo with a 3-foot wall. The animals will not jump if they cannot see where their feet will fall.
Application: Faith is the ability to trust what we cannot see, and with faith we are freed from the flimsy enclosures of life that only fear allows to entrap us.
1. Jesus gave us the command to make disciples in Matthew 28:18-20, but He also told us several essentials that are worth implementing in our disciple-making ministries:
A. All Authority:
You have complete authority that is necessary for completing His great commission in the word of God. Help people to utilize the authority of the scriptures in all aspects of their personal lives, relationships and ministries. Do not hesitate to make disciples a priority in whatever ministry God leads you in to.
Quote: The true, living faith, which the Holy Spirit instills into the heart, simply cannot be idle.
Quote: God does not expect us to submit our faith to him without reason, but the very limits of our reason make faith a necessity.
Quote: The more we know of God, the more unreservedly we will trust him; the greater our progress in theology, the simpler and more childlike will be our faith.
J. G. Machen.
We are to look to the fields that are ripe for harvesting and then move to the areas where the Lord is calling us to make disciples. Learn to make disciples where you are at so the Lord will direct you to where He wants to make disciples in the days to come. He who is faithful in little things will be given greater responsibilities for the qualitative and quantitative expansion of His kingdom and righteousness. (Matt 6:33) Ask the Lord for wisdom in sewing your seed to people who are most responsive to becoming Christ’s disciples.
Quote: Faith is not a distant view but a warm embrace of Christ.
C. Make disciples of all the people group.
It is not enough to just be a disciple or a follower of Jesus Christ. We are to be disciple-makers. That implies that we are coming along with Jesus wherever He went to the lost, to the hurting and those who are poor in spirit and recognize their needs. We are to be using our natural and spiritual gifts to serve others in ways that will help them come to maturity in Christ. We are not to haphazardly serve anyway that seems convenient. We are to purposely think in terms of producing multipliers who will be able to help make disciple-makers of every nations, tribe, people group and language group on the planet. All 18,000, of which there are approximately 1.7 billion yet to be reached for the gospel and the great commission.
(ta ethne): We are to target nations and people groups that will be able to reach their own people. By working through faithful people who will teach others also we can best help multiply the church into all the communities (social-economic groupings) of the world. Help them to take up the full armor of God as they cross social, ethnic, and cultural barriers for the sake of world evangelization.
We are to speak the truth in love so that people will grow up in all aspects into Christ. (Eph. 4:15) Ask the Lord to help you do whatever you can to teach, preach and demonstrate the truth of God’s word to people for the purpose of spiritual and numerical growth. Teaching involves both edification as well as evangelism, but the emphasis is always on growth by equipping the members of the body of Christ for the works of service.
Application: Teaching involves informing, persuading, observing, interpreting, correlating, applying, communicating and evaluating what is best for each student, subject and situation.
We are to baptize people because baptism unites people by helping them declare their loyalty to Christ and His body as an outward sign of an inner allegiance to Christ the Lord. Baptism helps us to make our joy complete by being of the same mind, uniting in spirit and intent on one purpose of giving greater glory to God by identifying with the death, burial and resurrection power of Jesus Christ. Baptism gives us an opportunity to corporately declare our faith, hope and love for the Lord above all others as a body of Christ.