Recently, while attending a mission leaders training event I had the privilage of hearing Jim Egli speak. Jim is a well know writer and speaker, known inside the Vineyard and throughout many denominations as an authority on developing small groups. You can find some great resources and insights on his website at jimegli.com
During his message Jim said something that really struck me, he said, “Jesus told us in Matthew 16 that He would ‘build the church’, and in Matthew 28 that WE should ‘make disciples’. Unfortunately, we often get so busy trying to do what we believe will build the church that we neglect to make disciples.”
The fifth attribute of a disciple identified by Logan and Ridley is DISCIPLEMAKING. They define it as making more and better followers of Jesus. I like that!
This dimension of a disciple starts with involvement in the lives of those who don’t know Jesus so that they might come into a relationship with God. Without even knowing it, people all around us have been alienated from the true and living God. Therefore the love of God compels us to take on the ministry of reconciliation, inviting them into the loving embrace of a Father who deeply cares for them.
Disciplemaking also includes helping the existing disciples to continually be growing in their relationship with Jesus. It’s a life long process that is essential for all of us, not just special or extraordinary Christians. As followers of Jesus we are regularly challenged by new discoveries of who Jesus really is. We press on to love what he loves, say what he says and do what he does.
Here are some of the behaviors that are included in disciplemaking:
- Engaging in spiritual conversations with those who are not yet followers of Jesus.
- Explaining the good news and the way of Jesus
- Establishing new believers in a discipleship process
- Connecting people with a faith community
- Helping new followers make more followers
(The Discipleship Difference, p. 30)
QUESTION: WHO ARE TWO OR THREE PEOPLE YOU BELIEVE JESUS WANTS YOU TO SPEND TIME DISCIPLING?