the weblog of Alan Knox

Do you know how to make disciples?

Posted by on Oct 19, 2012 in blog links, discipleship | 9 comments

Do you know how to make disciples?

Chuck at “Being Filled” has written a very good post called “What about the Other Great Commissions?” Chuck’s title, of course, refers to the “Great Commission” in Matthew 28:19-20 and the OTHER commissions given by Jesus found in the other three Gospels and Acts. Neither of them are word-for-word copies of the others, but they all have the same thrust. (Perhaps this shows that there was not just one commission, and that the sending was more important than we even think since it was repeated by Jesus to different people on different occasions?)

But, Chuck’s post ends where I want to begin. Because he ends his post asking a very good question and offering (in my opinion) some very good answers to his question.

Chuck writes:

Besides all that, it seems to me that we’ve totally distorted this commission anyway. Jesus never said, “Go preach to the lost, lead them through a prayer, then recommend a good church.”

No! He said, “Make disciples.”

Do you know how to make disciples?

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.”
“Love your neighbor as yourself.”
“Teach… them to observe everything [Jesus] commanded.”

As I’ve said before, “Disciples follow Jesus.” It really is that simple. How do we “make disciples”? By helping each other follow Jesus.

And, like Chuck says, that includes loving God, loving others, and helping each other obey Jesus.

Do you know how to make disciples? Are you making disciples?


9 Comments

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  1. 10-19-2012

    Thanks for the mention, Alan! :)

  2. 10-19-2012

    Hi Alan. Discipleship, I believe, is semi-lost in the church today. We are too much in a hurry and we lack sacrificial living. But then again, I could be wrong :-)

    Anyway, I’ve written three posts on discipleship a few years back and share them here. (If you feel this is not OK, please delete my comment)

    http://windblownhope.wordpress.com/2007/10/03/the-101-of-discipleship/

    http://windblownhope.wordpress.com/2009/08/20/discipleship-is-too-slow/

    http://windblownhope.wordpress.com/2009/08/22/discipleship-on-and-on-and-on/

    To answer your questions. Yes, I do know how to make disciples and no….currently I’m not making disciples, because I can only give so much attention to so many people :-) Thanks for the questions.

  3. 10-19-2012

    Besides loving God and loving others what does it really mean to follow Jesus?

  4. 10-19-2012

    Chuck,

    My pleasure! Thanks for the great post.

    Nestus

    I’d love to hear more about what you mean by this statement: “I do know how to make disciples and no….currently I’m not making disciples, because I can only give so much attention to so many people.”

    Scott,

    To me, the idea of “making disciples” includes loving God, loving others, and helping them love God and love others… and so on. You could say that “helping others follow Jesus” is wrapped up in “loving others,” but then you could also say that “loving others” is wrapped up in “loving God.” I think it’s good to point out the “one another” aspect of following Jesus (i.e., it’s not just me and God) when talking about “making disciples.”

    -Alan

  5. 10-19-2012

    Phillip comes to mind as he related to his Ethiopian brother. First of all Phillip was walking in the Spirit, in other word he didn’t have an agenda of his own. Secondly Phillip helped unpack the Bible to his brother. In doing so he “preached Jesus”.

    There seems to my mind, that you, me and the next guy, are not equipped to “make disciples” unless we are led to someone. To be ready to answer for the hope that resides in us is our part, and Gods timing is the real key.

    This is an observation, and I’m wide open for input.

  6. 10-19-2012

    Alan,

    Disciple-making, (oh my, has it come to that? is it now just another throw-away topic of conversation?), is intentional, intimate, one-on-one, uncomfortable, messy, demanding, frustrating, and requires copious amounts of perseverance in and of The Spirit. As I harp on, we need to invite people into our lives and not into our local churches. Big difference.

    To echo what another commenter said, I am not currently in that posture of heart/spirit right now (of ‘making a disciple(s)’) because I do not have the ability to invest myself into another as properly as one should when discipling. I would be robbing both God and man if I tried to disciple right now.

    I enjoyed both your and Chuck’s posts on this subject.

  7. 10-20-2012

    Jim,

    I think instances like Phillip and the Ethiopian eunuch are definitely important. Do you think that we’re just as much led to the people that God has us living beside, working with, etc.?

    Donald,

    The way I think of discipling, we are always discipling. The questions are, Who are we helping people to follow? and How effective are we at helping them?

    -Alan

  8. 10-22-2012

    If we love God we serve and obey God. Since we love Him because He first loved us, make sure people never loose site of the cross. Give them Jesus,Jesus, and more Jesus.

  9. 10-22-2012

    GodCameDown,

    Yes, I think that’s what Jesus had in mind when he said, “… teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you.” It’s about helping people follow Jesus’ commands, not our rules or traditions.

    -Alan