What's Your Plan for Making Disciples?
3/27/2012 | Author: RCW
So, Jesus told his disciples and -- by extension -- us in Matthew 28:19-20: 

"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." 

The main instruction that Jesus gave His followers was to make disciples.  (Go is actually a participle and could even be translated "as you go" or "while going" or "when you go.")

So, here is my primary question.  If you consider yourself a follower of Christ, how are you involving yourself in making disciples?  Is that a job reserved for pastors?  Is that a job reserved for the spiritually elite?  By no means!  Making disciples ought to be the business of every true follower of Christ.

So what is stopping you?  There are plenty of possible inhibitors.  Here are some biggies:
  • Popular Inhibitor #1 - Maybe you have no concept of what "making disciples" looks like in a 21st century context.  That's okay.  If you are wondering whether Jesus wants you to wear sandals and a toga, speak in thees and thous and ask 12 random people to follow you around day and night, you've got the wrong mental picture.  The next time you are at church, ask your discipleship pastor how you personally can get involved making disciples.  You might teach a class, you might mentor a young believer, you might serve within the church, or facilitate some curriculum with a small group.  Making disciples means creating more followers of Jesus and helping His existing followers follow Him more closely.  Believe it or not -- anybody who is following Jesus can do those things. 
  • Popular Inhibitor #2 - Do you trust in church programs to make disciples?  Making disciples is surely the job of the local church.  If churches aren't focused on making disciples, they probably shouldn't exist.  But who is the local church but YOU?  The church is primarily people and not a building or institution.  One close friend of mine came to a realization in his late twenties that devastated him.  He came to me one day and said, "I can't believe that I wasted all these years expecting my local church to take primary responsibility for making disciples when all along it is my responsibility!"  It took this friend of mine stumbling onto this great book to learn that he could make disciples in his own time in his own way.  Today, he would tell you that the rewards just keep on multiplying as people he has discipled are now discipling others.       
  • Popular Inhibitor #3 - You might be thinking, "It might feel awkward.  How do I get started and just start making disciples?  I can't just stroll up to someone and say, 'Sit down while I teach you to follow Jesus.'  Worse still: 'Will you be my disciple?'"  You are right...either of those approaches would make for a pretty awkward start.  The place to start is to begin praying, listening, and watching.  Ask God to point you to the people he wants you to influence.  Pay attention to those in your life who need a better grasp of how to follow Christ.  Look for opportunities to communicate your faith and even teach it to others.  Do that long enough, and you won't be asking for more opportunities, you'll be having to ask God to help you choose which options to take to make disciples most effectively. 
May God bless you in your efforts and grow you as you aid others in following Christ more closely.  Email me if you need help!  More on this to come...


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