Let’s talk about how to make disciples
I have a son who is not yet 2 years old. He barely stands taller than my knees. So, I think I have to do something to make him grow up.
I have been looking for child stretchers to help him lengthen. Maybe there is some miracle vitamin I can give him. Perhaps I should give him some high-protein dog food. That might do the trick.
Growth is a natural thing
On second thought, I may not have to do any of that. You see, I have a 20-year-old son as well. I never had to do any of that to him and he is now as tall as I am.
Seriously, my oldest son made it to 6 feet tall without a stretching rack or dog food. (Okay, maybe he got a little dog food but none that I fed him.) You see, for a human to go from infancy to maturity is really a matter of having a good support group. Mom and dad protect him and feed him proper nutrition.
This helps me understand how to make disciples. Disciples develop.
Discipleship is a natural thing
When Jesus told His disciples to go make disciples. They did not ask how to make disciples. They already knew because they had watched how He did it for years.
Jesus took the disciples in and gently fed them Truth. He set them in the right environment for each stage of their growth. He slowly introduced them to the demands of their calling.
For example, at the beginning of their journey with Him, He defended them against some zealous souls. Followers of John the Baptist and some Pharisees got upset that Jesus’s disciples were not fasting (going without eating) like they were. Jesus intercepted these outsiders from pressuring His disciples to conform to their forms of self-denial.
Later, Jesus taught His disciples to fast and follow other challenging measures of self-humbling. It was a matter of timing. At no point did Jesus force them to eat dog food or put them on a spiritual stretch rack to get them to grow faster.
How to make Disciples
Growing disciples is a supportive role. Just as a child has a God-given ability to grow, so do disciples. Just as parents take a supportive role in helping children become adults, so disciple-makers support disciples until they become full-grown in spiritual maturity.
If parenting requires any one thing more than others, it would be patience, at least that is my thought (and I am writing this blog, so you have to read my thoughts , but you are welcome to share your own below). Disciple-making takes patience, too.
Right. I know you are told you must be bold and well-practiced on your testimony to win disciples. I know you have memorized half the New Testament so you can convince anyone and everyone to believe the Truth. But…
Here’s the stunning truth: you are not the star of the show. You are a sideshow. Jesus puts into people what it takes. You help them along the way.
How disciple-makers make disciples
Priscilla and Aquila were disciple-makers. When a great preacher came through town, they realized he did not know the full story about Jesus. They simply showed him the way “more perfectly.” In other words, God was already growing this man into what He wanted him to be. They simply help feed him and show him the right path to spiritual maturity. No forcing. No drama.
Soon, this preacher Apollos traveled everywhere converting many and making more and more disciples. You can do this, too. We will talk more about it later.
Go grow a disciple. Then teach your disciple how to make a disciple.
Video: how to make disciples