Making disciples the way Jesus made disciples works everywhere. Disciple-making literally transcends culture. When Jesus said, “make disciples of all nations”, he knew it would work in every possible location. The Jesus approach to helping untrained seekers become fully trained disciples works in first-century Jerusalem as well as in twenty-first-century North America. The disciple-making process Jesus used literally transcends all cultures.
As we think about why disciple-making works everywhere, let me suggest a few possible reasons why.
Relationships transcend culture! People are basically people in every nation. All people need other people and all people want to be needed. Jesus used relationships as a means to make disciples. Jesus made disciples life on life. Disciples are not robots, they are people. They have a mind, will, and emotions. Jesus used the entire human experience as a part of transforming his disciples. Jesus made disciples in the context of relationships and that is still how it needs to be done today. Relationships transcend culture.
Spiritual needs transcend culture! People everywhere have a need to worship. All cultures care about belonging. Every person on the planet has a need to better manage their resources in life. People need to mature and grow spiritually in every nation on the planet. Serving others is a universal basic need. All of these spiritual needs and more are true in every person that has ever been created. Because these spiritual needs exist in every culture, disciple-making works in every culture. Disciple-making is at the core having the spiritual needs met in your life and thereby making you more like Christ.
Let me unpack this a bit further for you. We all have a need to serve others. When we begin to live a lifestyle of a servant we are becoming more like Christ and demonstrating the conduct of Christ and thereby making us fully trained. All people groups need to serve. Serving is a need that transcends all cultural contexts.
Character transformation transcends culture! People are all the same on the inside. Languages may be different. Skin color may be different. Customs may differ, but the heart is the same in every culture. I just returned from a ten-day trip to India and here is what I discovered: people in India care about love as much as I do. People in India want joy as much as I do. People in India desire peace and patience as much as I do. People in India value kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control as much as I do. On the inside, we are all looking to have the character of Christ.
Since disciple-making is about developing Christ-like character it stands to reason that we develop Christ-like character the same way everywhere. Christ developed His character in the apostle Peter the same way He is developing it in me today. Character transcends culture.
We need the tried and true methods of Jesus. We need to open Scripture and let God show us how He wants us to make disciples. The method of Jesus still works if we work it.
Impact Discipleship Ministries exists to inspire people and churches to be and build disciples of Jesus Christ. We want to help you learn more about making disciples the way Jesus did. If we can help you on your journey, don’t hesitate to contact us.