I remember many years ago learning my multiplication tables. You probably do as well. I started with 1 x 1 and then continued to recite them all the way to 12 x 12. The repetition drove those tables into my mind in such a way that I still know them decades later.
Learning how to make and multiply disciples is also something we need to learn, it doesn’t happen automatically. The best way to learn how to make and multiply disciples is from the Master Disciple Maker. Jesus is the perfect model of what it means to make and multiply disciples. He took twelve unschooled and ordinary men and turned them into world-changers. Jesus led these men to be disciple makers in three years. Let’s identify some of the key steps in Jesus’ approach to disciple making that we need to follow today.
Recruit a group of people to train: There are lots of different ways to state this first step, but at the end of the day, Jesus made and multiplied a movement of disciples because He selected twelve men to come and learn from Him. Jesus spent a majority of His time with the twelve and He used that time to teach and model for them what He wanted them to be and do. In its most basic form, disciple making means identifying a handful of hungry people who are willing to commit to being trained and taught how to be more like Jesus.
Train that group of people to be like Jesus: Jesus calls us to make and multiply disciples who look and act like Him. During the time you commit to training your disciples, be sure you are training them in the character and conduct of Christ. The end goal of disciple making is that those you recruit will become more like Jesus and know how to help others become more like Jesus. Keep it simple. Train your disciples to be like Jesus the same way Jesus did. Spend time with them. Model for them. Teach them. Give them experiences, and then send them out to do the same with others.
Challenge them to reproduce more disciples: People are slow. They need help understanding what the true outcome of disciple making really is. I know this to be true because of how many Christians have actually ever made another disciple. Very few have! Christians are very good at sitting in small groups, filling in blanks, and placing our notebooks on the shelf before finding another small group to join. We are very good at consuming. We are not so good at reproducing. We need to be challenged to make more disciples and held accountable to do so. When you make disciples, don’t stop at the training phase and assume they will reproduce. Go the extra mile and hold them accountable until they repeat the process you did with them with someone else.
Making and multiplying disciples is not complicated. It is more a matter of obedience than anything else. If you study the life of Christ and are willing to make disciples who make disciples, you already have the plan and power to accomplish the task. All you need is the willingness to go and do it.
Impact Discipleship Ministries exists to inspire individuals and churches to be and build disciples. We can give you resources and training to be successful, but we can’t do it for you. You must want to make and multiply disciples in order for it to happen. We are here for you and more than willing to walk that journey with you if you ever need us. Check out more from us at impactdisciples.com