A Biblical model for making disciples

by Avery T. Willis, Jr.

Many people think that disciples are made as they sit in a classroom or take a course. If that is your concept of making disciples, you are in for a surprise. Consider the following factors that support a biblical model of disciple making.

Make disciples even though your life is crowded with priorities.

Jesus made disciples in one of the busiest schedules imaginable. Often, He did not have time to eat, rest, or sleep. In a normal 24-hour day, He probably had less discretionary time than you do or than the busiest person you know does. Every day multitudes of people surrounded Jesus. He often took His disciples aside to rest, reflect, teach, and prepare, but people continually interrupted them. Most of the time Jesus was discipling on the go.

Time is the most important commodity in today's environment.

That means we must prioritize our time. It means we will be willing to change our schedule when we realize that the Lord wants us to help a disciple. It means we must make discipling others a priority and be willing to change your plans when a disciple needs help.

Disciple making requires intentionality.

We must focus on making disciples in the fast lane. Otherwise, we lose sight of the main task Christ has given us - the Great Commission. Matthew 28:19 literally means, As you go, make disciples. Paul also discipled on the go (see 2 Tim. 2:2.) He did not stop everything and make disciples. Paul made disciples as he lived his life-even in prison!

Disciples are not instantly made.

Regardless of new technologies and advanced teaching methods, developing disciples is much like physical development. It cannot be rushed. Discipleship takes time.

Use everyday situations as opportunities to make disciples.

Jesus made disciples when He was interrupted, was asked questions, was challenged by His enemies, was faced with problems, was dealing with evil spirits, and was pressed by adoring crowds. Jesus took advantage of everyday situations to disciple others.

Always relate disciples to the Father.

When we make disciples, we are relating God to people and people to God. At this juncture disciples are made. This means we can seize the opportunity at the crowded intersections of life and relate how God is involved. We can bring God's perspective to bear on the situation and help disciples follow God's leadership in solving problems. The greatest discipling takes place when a disciple faces a crisis. Then he or she is most teachable.

Payment Options: LifeWay Account, MasterCard, Visa, Discover and American Express

LifeWay Accounts are for churches, ministries, and businesses only. Organizations having a not for profit status may also enjoy savings by not having to pay sales tax on qualifying products.

Your trusted source of Christian resources since 1891

LifeWay Christian Resources, Religious Goods, Nashville, TN