Not all disciple makers are created equal. Each have different giftings and skill sets. Giftedness and ability are not always things you can control, but there are some things every leader can work towards.
In 2 Timothy 2:3-8, Paul gives Timothy three descriptions of traits that make a good disciple maker. In verse three, Paul uses the example of a good soldier. Good soldiers do not lose focus and get involved with civilian affairs. They stay committed to the task at hand and finish what they start.
I’ve known lots of disciples who dropped out of groups before they had finished, but I have also known a few leaders that quit as well. A good discipleship leader is someone who stays focused and does not get distracted from the task at hand.
A second example that Paul gives to Timothy is that of an athlete that competes according to the rules. Paul says an athlete does not receive the crown if he or she cheats or takes short cuts in competition. A winning athlete plays by the book and follows the rules.
Good disciple makers are disciple makers who do what is right even if it is hard. Good disciple makers don’t cheat and make compromises on things that are important. No one wants a disciple maker who is looking for the easy way to do things. A disciple maker who has integrity is a disciple maker who leads well.
The third example Paul gives Timothy is the hard working farmer. Hard working farmers have patience. They understand that the harvest takes time and that a lot of work is required before the fruit is produced. Hard working farmers are patient and willing to wait to see the fruit of their labors.
Good disciple makers are like farmers: they are patient and willing to wait for disciples to be made and multiplied. They understand that the process cannot be rushed. Spiritual growth and maturity takes time! Good disciple makers are willing to do the hard work even when they have not yet seen the fruit.
The images of a soldier, athlete, and farmer are great illustrations and descriptions of the traits that a good disciple maker possesses. A disciple maker that is not easily distracted, takes the right path, and stays patient is the kind of disciple you want to be.
At Impact Discipleship Ministries, we exist to help people be and build disciples of Jesus Christ. We have resources and training to help you make disciples. If we can help you in disciple making, contact us at impactdisciples.com.
By Ken Adams, Founder and Director of Impact Discipleship Ministries
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