I don’t know about you, but I need to be reminded about certain things on a regular basis. As I think through discipleship, here’s my current list of things I need to know:
- It takes a disciple to make a disciple: While I sometimes argue that anyone can host a small group (even a non-Christian), only a disciple can make a disciple. Make sure that you are one of HIS before you attempt to disciple someone else.
- Real disciples make disciples: I think this is an important distinction. It means that if you’re not actively making disciples, you probably aren’t a disciple. How are you investing in other people?
- Disciples are rarely made in rows: From an environmental angle, a disciple is far more likely to made in a circle. After all, becoming a disciple has far less to do with digesting information (like in a class) and far more to do with spending time with those who are becoming like Him. One rule for relationship is that we become more like those with whom we spend time.
- You don’t have to arrive before you begin making disciples: (see Philippians 3:12-14 if you don’t believe me). We never arrive, we are always in process. If we feel that we have arrived, we neglect to see how far we still need to go.
- You don’t have to use printed curriculum to make disciples: The early disciples made it happen even before they had the New Testament, much less a curriculum.
- You don’t become a disciple by completing a course or curriculum: While some studies might be better at generating the kinds of conversations that open eyes and soften hearts, completing a study or a course isn’t like completing a degree program that qualifies you to use a title or certain letters after your name (like Reverend or Phd).
- Completing a course or curriculum also doesn’t make you disciple maker: You might earn a credential, but what makes you a disciple maker is that you’re actually making disciples, investing into others.
- Disciple-making takes time: You can’t microwave a disciple; it takes a crock pot. The process won’t be hurried. A real disciple is always becoming more like Jesus. It’s what gives the disciple-maker the opportunity to say, “here’s what the Lord is showing me right now.”
- Disciples invest in others: Like the servants in Matthew 25, every one of us is given opportunity to invest in others, “according to our ability.”
- “Make disciples” was Jesus’ final command: It was his marching orders to his disciples. It isn’t optional or reserved for those with the credential. It is a command for all of us.
By the way, these are the top 10 things I need to know about discipleship. Are they yours? Maybe. You may need to develop your own list.
[From Mark Howell through Pastors.com]