We’ve all heard it said that you should, “…plan your work and work your plan.” That’s great advice, and yet some pastors and disciple making leaders have no plan for making disciples or leading their church to do the same. It’s hard to have a disciple making church when you have no plan to make it happen.
I would submit to you that Jesus had a plan for making disciples. No, He didn’t have it written down in His journal or annual planner, but I have no doubt that Jesus created a movement of multiplying disciples because He executed the plan His Father gave Him.
The reason I believe Jesus had a plan for making disciples is based on what He says in John 20:21. As He prepares to leave His disciples with His mission, He says, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent Me, even so I am sending you.” This verse would indicate that Jesus was sent out with a plan from the Father, and He now sends us out with the same plan.
#8- Lead with a plan! I truly believe that Christianity is where it is today because Jesus led with the plan His Father gave Him. The plan Jesus executed was actually quite simple. That does not mean it was easy, but it was simple. So simple everyone can do it. Let’s take a minute and look at the plan Jesus executed in His few short years of ministry.
First, Jesus grew a disciple making group. Clearly, one of the most important parts of Jesus’ plan was to build a group of men that He would train and equip to accomplish His mission and lead His movement. Whatever else you say about the life of Jesus, you must at least conclude that His plan included the development of a small group for making disciples.
Second, Jesus grew the people in His group. It doesn’t take much to understand that Jesus took unschooled, ordinary men and led them to become world changers. In a period of three short years, Jesus invested and led a small group of men to become disciples that followed His example. Jesus had a plan for replicating this process over and over again until the whole planet was filled with people following His example. Wow!
Third, Jesus grew people in His group to become leaders. One part of Jesus’ plan was to hand over His mission and movement to a handful of leaders. Those leaders came from His team of disciples. You only read about three of the twelve disciples in the Book of Acts. This could indicate that Peter, James, and John were leading Jesus’ movement at a different level than the other disciples. Either way, we need a plan to develop disciple making leaders.
Finally, Jesus grew more disciple making groups. As the Church in Jerusalem began to meet from house to house, they implemented the same approach Jesus had for growing people and additional leaders. The small home groups were devoted to the apostles’ teaching, to prayer, and to fellowship. These were the very same things Jesus gave His disciples in their small group.
No one can question whether or not Jesus had a plan to fulfill a mission and start a movement. The only thing we question is whether or not we are following the same plan.