Disciple-making is not a program; it’s a lifestyle. This is a big truth. Jesus said, “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men” (Matt. 4:19). Clearly, this was no call to join a discipleship program but an invitation to a lifestyle of disciple-making. According to Jesus, this lifestyle is the supreme purpose of every believer. You cannot be a true follower of Jesus without becoming a fisher of men.
There are some common misconceptions in today’s church about disciple-making. Some think it is evangelism, as it means having gospel conversations and seeking to lead others to Christ. Certainly, this is a vital part of disciple-making. But making converts is not the same as making disciples. You can do evangelism without being a disciple maker, but you cannot be a disciple maker without doing evangelism.
Others think disciple-making is Bible study. It involves great studies where people go deep into the Bible. Again, this is a vital part of disciple-making, but there is a problem. Many participate in great Bible studies and then want to know when is the next one and the next one and the next one. We are making great Bible learners but not disciple makers.
With no buildings or budgets, Jesus launched a disciple-making movement that exploded upon the world. In comparison, the church today has discipleship programs but few disciple-making people. We must exchange our misconceptions about discipleship for Christ’s model of disciple-making.
Jesus made disciples who made disciples; He didn’t make any other kind. Apart from multiplication, there is no real discipleship. Multiplication is the key to reaching our world for Christ. However, most churches today lack a simple process for equipping believers to make and to multiply disciples. For the most part, we are attempting to reach the world by addition, and we simply cannot keep pace.
By reading the gospels, we learn there are six practices of disciple-making that Jesus modeled for us with His discipleship group. These six practices are:
During the next few issues of The Baptist Paper, we will unpack these six practices and learn how to use them in living a true lifestyle of disciple-making.
Upcoming D-Life boot camps
Huffman Baptist Church, Birmingham, Alabama
Sunday, June 6
NorthPark Baptist Church, Trussville,
Saturday, August 28
9 a.m.–2 p.m.
Stone Ridge Baptist Church, Alexander
Sunday, September 19
Lawndale Baptist Church, Greensboro, North Carolina
Saturday, October 23
9 a.m.–1 p.m.