Being Disciples who Make Disciples
What does it look like to obey Jesus' command to "make disciples?"
Jesus tells us to do two things in His power: (1) Follow Him (2) Make Disciples -- in His power.
"Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men."
Paul tells Timothy to make disciples in God's strength.
"You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus,
and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men
who will be able to teach others also."
II Timothy 2:1-2
Two Aspects of Discipleship
(1) Being a Disciple - Preaching and Bible study should deliver information and exhortation aimed at our personal transformation based on the design of God. John 17:17 says, "Sanctify them by your Truth, Your Word is Truth." This is the first half of discipleship in the local Church.
Do you know what the second half of what being a disciple is all about?
(2) Making Disciples - A disciple of Jesus Christ, not only follows Jesus, but he then goes and makes disciples. We are ALL called to "make disciples" as God empowers us, according to His Word and in the Spirit's power.
How did Jesus Make Disciples?
Jesus had four relational circles in which he discipled men and women. Each level was an important aspect of Jesus' ministry. In studying these four levels however, it is important to realize there are not four levels of discipleship. When God's calls a man unto salvation, God is calling that man to discipleship. Discipleship is not something only for the "serious" Christian.
The point at hand is to observe the emphasis in time and effort Jesus put in to the bulls-eye. He spent extra special time with three of His disciples: Peter, James, and John.
One church has called the bulls-eye LOLMD
LOLMD Groups Go Further and Deeper *
This does not mean small groups are bad, but that LOLMD, focusing on fewer who then multiply, is the NT model for discipleship in the local church.
Discipleship Takes Time and Effort Spent with a Few
Take others with you as you (1) use your spiritual gifts and (2) teach them the spiritual disciplines. Teach others (a few at a time) what it means for you to be a follower of Jesus. Paul said, "follow me as I follow Christ" (I Cor. 11:1). This is best done in "life on life" situations. Again, Paul said, "we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well" (I Thess. 2:8).
Regarding the spiritual disciplines, Dallas Willard said, "Jesus directed and led His disciples into disciplines for spiritual life: fasting, prayer, solitude, silence, service, study, fellowship, and so forth. A disciple rearranges his life in systematic and progressive ways to become like Jesus."
What does this look like in the life of a church? Discipleship involves teaching and holding a few others accountable to use their spiritual gifts and practice the spiritual disciplines in the context of the local church.
Dig in to Being and Making Disciples a Few at a Time
Why does the church, too often, not pursue discipleship with a few? Dallas Willard comments on why the church of today does not pursue mentoring
* So* LOLMD is taken from Perimeter Church