Making Disciples
Jesus' final words after His resurrection were a clear and simple call to His followers make disciples:
"I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nationsbaptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:18-20)
"You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit - fruit that will last." (John 15:16) 

If we are disciples of our Lord Jesus we have no option but to follow ...

Being a disciple of Jesus

Aligning with the mission of Jesus

Disciples make disciples

Disciple making movements


Being a Disciple of Jesus: To make disciples it is necessary to be clear on what a disciple is. This is so because one cannot help another become a disciple of Jesus without being a disciple of Jesus oneself. An Indian friend from Delhi expresses New Testament teaching well in this regard: What is a disciple?

As I reflect on my efforts to follow Christ and make disciples over the years I would express my understanding in this way: A disciple is moving towards the following character, commitments and behaviour:

A disciple of Jesus is becoming increasingly Christlike in character:

         willing to die to self (John 12) and serve others (Phil 2); all along exhibiting the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23).

A disciple of Jesus holds to:

         The Lordship of Jesus Christ without rivals

         The authority of the Scriptures in matters of faith and practice

         Living in a disciplined, purposeful manner towards the extension of God's Kingdom.

A disciple of Jesus:

         Has learned to feed oneself in scripture, prayer, worship, Christian community.

         Exhibits the "one-anothers" of New Testament teaching

         Is making disciples

         Strong in the authority of Christ in resisting Satan where necessary (spiritual warfare)

Aligning with the mission of Jesus. Please consider reflecting on these steps in this process (offered by a friend who blogs on www.missionalchallenge.com). You could take these steps in 31 days or 31 weeks .... but I encourage you to choose a regular interval and start the process ...

Day 1: Understanding the Mission of Jesus

Day 2: Feed Yourself for Strength for the Journey

Day 3: Catch the (10:2) Virus

Day 4: Learn to Think Missionally

Day 5: Commit Yourself to Obey Jesus

Day 6: Engage with Your World

Day 7: Internalize the Gospel as You Go

Day 8: Three Simple Skills

Day 9: Learning to Be a Blessing

Day 10: Start the Habit of Sharing Meals

Day 11: Take a Missional Tour of Your Neighbourhood

Day 12: Identify Your Circle of Accountability

Day 13: Partner with Others in Your Community

Day 14: Turn Your Values into Practices

Day 15: Share Your Grace Story

Day 16: Think and Act Like a Missionary

Day 17: What Function Has God Given You?

Day 18: Know Your Mission Field

Day 19: Do Justice, Love Mercy, Walk Humbly

Day 20: Teaching Them To Obey Everything

Day 21: Missional Transformation

Day 22: Simplify Your Life

Day 23: Be Generous

Day 24: Think Glocal

Day 25: Stop Being a Consumer Christian

Day 26: Start Being the Church

Day 27: Love Your City! Live for Your City's Good!

Day 28: Become a Missionalist

Day 29: Live in Incarnational Community

Day 30: Be a Life-Long Learner

Day 31: God's Well Done Is Worth It

Disciple Make Disciples: Jesus was clear on this central point. I'd like to share a couple tools and learnings I trust will be helpful:

Walter A. Henrichsen, Disciples Are Made, Not Born: How to Help Others Grow to Maturity in Christ, Cook Communications, Colorado Springs. (Sample pages, at the time of this writing, are available here.)

Disciple making movements: Jesus made disciples simply by living the life of the Kingdom with them and calling those who followed to go and make disciples also. Consider Jesus' teaching in Matthew 10 and Luke 10.

A basic means of helping others become disciples of Christ, live in the Kingdom of God and apply the truths of scripture has been called "Discovery Bible Study." The term used for a growth process towards obedience-based discipleship (as compared with disciple-making focused exclusively on knowledge or understanding). Knowledge is not contrary to obedience and the two should not be viewed as opposites, but discipleship cannot be considered complete without obedience. The essential goal of Discovery Bible Study is to discover both Christ and his call on our life.

For more detail please click here.

Here are some resources I commend to you for personal growth in discipleship, making disciples, and for church planting:

  1. An initial overview of the Discovery Bible Study process - in PDF or PowerPoint

  2. More detailed coaching for:

    • those helping someone unfamiliar with the Bible's "love and rescue" story - "Discovering God" in PDF.

    • those helping new believers learn what it means to follow Christ - "Discovering Obedience Based Discipleship" in PDF

    • those helping communities in the process of knowing Christ embed the DNA of church into their social network - "Discovering Church Planting in PDF.

    • those helping new disciple-making communities - "Discover Leadership" for multiplication in PDF.

  3. Additional background and support:

    • Developing Small Groups with the DNA of a Gospel Planting Movement (Paul Watson) - in Word or PDF

    • Discovery by the Inductive Approach (David Broodryk) - Word or PDF