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How Do You Make Disciples?

John Baugh
2005

Disciple-Makers?

One of the most frequently asked questions we hear is "How do you actually make Disciples?" Discipling (the making of a disciple to, or for Jesus Christ) is all about pouring your life in Christ into another person, who will do the same for others. This is what Jesus asked each of us to do.

 

In his letter to Timothy, the apostle Paul clearly stated the goal of discipling.

 

"The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also."
(2 Timothy 2:2 NASB)

 

In his words to Timothy, Paul clearly shows four generations of Disciples. They include:

 

·        Paul

·        Timothy

·        Faithful men

·        Others

 

If we look at where Paul's placed his emphasis in Greek (the language Paul used in his writings) we will find that the word of major emphasis in this statement is the word

OTHERS!

In his work with Timothy, Paul was looking past his young disciple. He was looking past the faithful men that Timothy would disciple. His emphasis (his heart) was with those he called "others" – the disciples of Christ he would probably never see or meet this side of heaven.

 

This is what discipling is all about. It is about the others - the people (the generations of disciples) we may never meet or see that come about through our investment in the Timothy disciple that the Holy Spirit gives us to work with, to build up and grow to a stage (a spiritual maturity) of reproductive ability!

 

Simply put, discipling is about building relationships, investing time with and taking others with you as you spread the good news about Christ and work for the Lord's Kingdom (as you do the things a disciple of Christ should do). As you take others with you, they will learn from you and grow in their knowledge and desire to share Christ with others, also.

 

This is what Paul was telling Timothy to do in 2 Timothy 2:2. A reading of the book of Acts and the letters Paul wrote indicate the success of his discipling efforts. This is the approach that Jesus Christ took with His disciples and you can't dispute the results that He got. Jesus invested in twelve men. He wants us to invest in others also.

 

Why Provide Discipling Materials?

 

The materials presented here contain discipling Lessons, Bible Studies and Messages from God's Holy Word. All were written by fellow disciple makers and have produced results for them, as they led others in their desire to make disciples.

 

Christ’s network of "Faithful Men" and Women is extensive and worldwide and we would like to see it grow, daily. Our hope is to provide useful materials to assist those who have set their hearts on the things to which Christ has set his heart.

 

There is much benefit in developing and following a structured curriculum for training and growing your disciples. The goal is reproductive discipling - where the disciples you work with grow to the point where they make disciples for Christ, also. We must always remember that each generation of disciples must be given the desire to look past their Timothys and faithful men to the others.

 

How can discipling materials be used?

 

·        The materials presented on this web site are useful in one-on-one, or in group settings.

·        They can serve as materials for discussion, where a topic is assigned for study, to be discussed in depth at a future session.

·        They may be assigned to a disciple, to be taught by that disciple to others at a future meeting.

·        They are training aids to teach disciples how to share Jesus with others.

·        They may be presented by an instructor in a structured environment, or simply read out loud in a less formal one-on-one or group setting.

·        They present disciplines (Prayer, Study of The Word, Sharing, Accountability, etc.) that are key elements in the life of a disciple.

·        These materials are intended to help a discipler work with those who are being discipled to help them grow in knowledge, assurance and conviction.

 

Are these materials suitable for evangelism?

Evangelism is good and desirable. It is one of the spiritual gifts Paul mentions in his letter to the Ephesians:

 

It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.

(Ephesians 4:11-12 NIV)

 

Jesus was an evangelist. However, a close study of his ministry will show that he ministered to the masses and then pulled "His men" aside for in-depth study of his teachings and expanded learning experiences, all directly related to the task of disciple making that would be given to them after his departure.

 

Jesus had a keen interest in sharing with those who came to hear and see him. No teaching from the lips of man will ever come close to what he shared during the Sermon on the Mount. However, Jesus was even more interested in building up men who would carry on the work after his departure, building up other disciples, who would also build up other disciples and so on, until "the end of the age".

 

In Christ's own words, the disciples were to "make disciples of all nations". Jesus had a world wide vision. Discipling was his plan to spread the Gospel throughout the world, until the end of the world. If he is our Lord, his vision must be our vision, too.

 

Many of the lessons and studies contained on this website are suitable as evangelistic messages. However, our hope is that you will use them as discipling tools. We must remember there is no real indication that Jesus ever instructed his men how to preach. He never said, "Go and preach to the world". He did say "Make disciples of all nations".

 

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