The mission is to “make disciples of all nations…” (Matthew 28:19-20) The question is – how do we do that?
We do it the same way Jesus did: we help untrained seekers become fully trained disciples. That is what Jesus did, and that is one of the two reasons why He came to earth in the first place.
Jesus came to first and foremost make redemption possible for mankind. He is the only one that could do that. Secondly, He came to start a movement of disciple making that would get the message of redemption to every person, in every nation, in every generation. He has commanded us to help Him accomplish that mission.
If we choose to join Jesus in making disciples of all nations, there are four steps we can take to see it happen. He modeled every one of these steps, so we know they work if we work them.
Step One: Invite the culture to the crowd! Jesus invited untrained seekers to come and be with Him. He invited them for a “visit” to connect with Him and to experience who He was. Today, we do this same thing by inviting people to a Christ-crowd, better known as a worship service. In weekly worship we connect with Jesus through worship and hearing His Word taught. An untrained seeker can’t connect with God, but that person can see and hear what God is doing in others, and what God can also work in that person’s life.
Step Two: Connect the crowd to community! Jesus asked a few of the disciples in the crowd to follow Him and become part of a small group community. He was asking them to minister with Him and to belong to His mission. This step into community is a big part of what it means to becoming a fully trained disciple.
Step Three: Challenge the community to become the core! After people started following Jesus for awhile, He issued them a challenge to remain in His Word and let His Word remain in them. The challenge to remain in Jesus is a challenge to obey and abide with Him. Jesus challenged the twelve to become disciples, “mathetes”, people who have been trained or equipped. A disciple is a person that has been fully trained to live and lead like Jesus.
Step Four: Launch the core to be the called! Jesus spent three years making disciples so He could send them out as leaders. The discipleship core became the called leaders of Christ’s movement and mission. These were the same disciples to whom Jesus gave the Great Commission. He was sending them out into all the world to make disciples for Him.
These four steps for helping the untrained become fully trained disciples has not changed in over two thousand years. We make disciples the same way today that Jesus did when He walked the earth. Sure, things have changed culturally, but the general concepts and principles are the same. If we help people move from the culture to the called, we will help them become fully trained disciples.
At Impact Discipleship Ministries we inspire people and churches to be and build disciples of Jesus Christ. If we can help with resources, training, or a consultation, please contact us and let us know how we can help.