the weblog of Alan Knox

Counting the Cost of Making Disciples

Posted by on Apr 8, 2010 in discipleship | 6 comments

Based on Luke 14:28, we see that following Jesus (that is, being his disciple) involves cost. In fact, Jesus says that we should consider (count) the cost before we begin to follow him. While it would be to discuss the various “costs” of following Jesus, this is not the purpose of this post.

Instead, consider that part of being a disciple of Jesus is making disciples. Thus, following Jesus includes helping others follow him. It follows, then, that there is cost involved in helping others follow Jesus (i.e., making disciples).

So, what are some of the “costs” associated with helping other people follow Jesus?


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  1. 4-8-2010

    There is a scene in Castaway, where Tom Hanks’ character has left the island on a small raft. The raft is just about disintegrated and he is wandering aimlessly across the ocean, thirsty and exhausted. He awakes to see a giant ocean going vessel alongside. The camera angle perfectly shows his tattered, hopeless state as he clings to the raft, while a massive vessel so large you can’t see any of the edges glides effortlessly alongside.

    That scene is an image of the cost.

    We have so little and we desperately cling to it for our lives. We have to hate all we value, renounce all we have. In doing so, we can leave our makeshift rubble of a raft and climb aboard the vast vessel gliding alongside.

    What’s that song? “I’d rather have Jesus…” see

  2. 4-8-2010

    There’s a lot of following to follow in your post. The biggest hindrance for me is always my own selfishness. To help someone become a more committed follower of Christ I am going to have to sacrifice time, pride, security, and much more. It is not always easy to be available and vulnerable, but I find them both essentials in the discipleship process.

  3. 4-8-2010

    Thought: As I look at how Jesus was with His disciples, they just wanted to be with Him 24/7 whatever He was doing, walking, eating, sleeping, with one person or thousands.

    I think our calling as makers of disciples is to introduce people to a living JC and show them how to know Him 24/7 whatever He is doing today at this moment so they too can hang with Him.

  4. 4-8-2010


    So, are you saying that making disciples costs us everything?


    (Sorry about following following with following.)

    The cost is the loss of time, pride, security, etc.?


    Does it cost us anything to introduce people to a living JC and show them how to know Him 24/7?


  5. 4-9-2010

    Yes, everything. The details of the costs are like those others have already mentioned.

    In the world, the task for a teacher is to transfer to others what they know. In Chrisitianity, we are to teach people to be what we are. This requires our example as “living sacrifices” as much as it requires our words. And, our classroom is life, teaching is OJT, 24 hours a day. We must be able to say (and demonstrate), “follow me, as I follow Christ.” This involves willing to be spent on behalf of others, serving rather then being served, and in the end, having both Timothy and Demas, Peter and Judas, in our results.

    The cost is in the big things like career choice, where instead of taking on the best paying path, you choose based on what gives you the most flexibility and time to devote to others. This often means choosing to live outside the gated communities, in smaller houses and apartments, where little is enough and most have less than little.

    And the cost is in the little things, like whether you invest your time in indulgences like watching TV or eating a second helping, or sleeping in (or through the 2 AM phone call for help) instead of taking a walk in the neighborhood, opening your home for a shared meal, visiting others, praying early and late, reading and pondering scripture, connecting with the relative of a neighbor who is in prison. It is the simple, daily things–like giving a cup of water to someone thirsty–that we make our mark for Christ.

  6. 4-9-2010


    I think that there is is a cost, just like when I was courting my wife, the “Christian” life is not all flowers and birds singing but My eye was on the prize not what I would have to give up to get the prize. Even now in our relationship there are “costs” but I choose to focus on the prize of our relationship IN CHRIST otherwise I become disheartened & want to give up. When I am in my right mind I can actually welcome these costs as friends(joy) in reaching for that goal.