As disciple makers, we must be intentional in the process of helping people follow Jesus. Investing in others is hard work. It is often messy and requires a lot of time. Discipling others, in many ways, is an art form. It is something you get better at as you practice it. There are innumerable methods of discipling others, many are proven, and there is no perfect way to do it. But there are some key principles that generally all effective disciplers are committed to. We want to discover them and get better at practicing them.
Read Colossians 1:28-29
Discuss: The goal of discipleship.
When Jesus invested His time discipling the men who would carry on his ministry, he was very selective. He didn’t disciple any and every one. His method was to choose a manageable number of guys and give them most of His time. We call this being intentional. To be effective in discipling others, it requires carving out significant amounts of time that you reserve for just a few people. We suggest a group with 2-4 others or 1-on-1. With a small group, there is greater opportunity for personal attention and training.
Read Mark 1:14-20, Mark 2:14, Mark 3:13-14
Discuss: This principle observed.
Jesus did not neglect preaching to mass amounts of people that were far from God, but He could be more useful with His time by training leaders who could disciple those masses by helping them follow His teachings.
Jesus taught His followers that remaining in Him and loving Him was the key to living a fruitful life. When we disciple others, we want to keep Jesus at the center of everything. A disciple maker's main material is the scriptures, from through them we know Jesus. The more we know Jesus, the more we love Jesus and the more we love Jesus, the more we obey or follow Him.
Read Col. 1:28-29, Eph. 4:11-15
Discuss: This principle observed.
Jesus shared His life with the disciples. He cultivated relationships with them by truly getting to know them and spending time with them. They ate together, traveled together, served together, and many others ways. Effective disciple makers find ways to develop relationships with those they invest in. They allow others to see Christ in their life, live action. The disciple even gets to see the raw mistakes and struggles of the one investing in them.
Read John 1:39, Luke 6:13, Mark 8:27, Matthew 20:17
Jesus’ disciples could see Him physically demonstrate a kingdom life. He modeled how to pray, quote scripture, evangelize, and give his life to serve others. Effective disciple makers demonstrate how to follow Jesus.
Read John 15:12-15, Luke 11:1-4, Phil 4:9
Jesus’ disciples were accountable to Him. They were expected to live lives of obedience and mission. Effective disciplers have accountable relationships with those they invest in.
Read John 15:10, Mark 6:30, Luke 9:10
Jesus invested in His disciples for 3 years before leaving earth. Effective disciple makers understand that discipleship is a long-term time investment. We suggest a 12-18 month investment. There are no quick solutions to teach people to follow Jesus.
Read John 14:9, Gal. 4:19
Imparting spiritual disciplines helps people develop a personal relationship with Jesus. Key spiritual disciplines are bible reading, prayer & fasting, scripture memory, evangelism, and generosity. It is most helpful to teach and demonstrate how you practice these disciplines.
Imparting core biblical doctrine helps people develop a theology of God that gives them a firm foundation. What people believe about God is important because it shapes how they live for God. It is good to have a base theology of the scriptures, God, man, salvation, the church, the end times, and more.
Imparting life transformation is the end goal of discipleship. It helps people be more like Jesus as they walk with Him. Life transformation is challenging people to change in their unique battles with sin, through the power of the gospel.
Imparting the skills and lifestyle of making other disciples help people to obey the great commission. A major part of obeying all that Jesus commanded is replicating the process of discipleship with others, who will replicate with others.
What are some commitments of discipleship that come more natural to you?
What are some commitments of discipleship that will be more challenging for you?
What adjustments will you need to make to replicate discipleship with others?