Disciples making Disciples

Points to Consider

Discipleship without reproduction isn’t really discipleship. Disciple-makers put their efforts into someone else so the faith can spread further and faster. If we are to be like Jesus, we must invest our lives in faithful men and women who will likewise reproduce themselves in others.

After His resurrection, Jesus appeared to His disciples and told them that universal authority had been conferred on Him. Therefore, He commissioned them to a worldwide mission: “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:18-20).

It was, and still is, Jesus’ plan to spread God’s kingdom throughout the world. Simply put, they were to reproduce themselves by taking their disciples through the same basic teaching and training that Jesus had given them in their apprenticeship with Him. Today, you and I have a part to play! Let’s look at Jesus’ call to make disciples and how we are to do it.

Suggested focus:

  • Looking at the mandate of discipleship found in our theme verse, what motives and methods of discipleship are given here?
  • Other Scriptures to consider include: Luke 6:13, Mark 3:14, Acts 11:26, 14:21, Colossians 1:28-29, 2 Timothy 2:2

Handout Provided at Conference

How does spiritual growth even happen?

  1. Mark 4:26-27
    It is a definite process, but in some ways it simply cannot be described.
    It’s a spiritual program of growth. God, ourselves, and others all have a part.

The verb for “making disciples”

  1. Matthew 27:57—Joseph of Arimathaea had made himself a disciple
  2. Matthew 28:18-20—the Lord Jesus told His followers to make disciples
  3. Acts 14:21-22—Paul and Barnabas made many disciples in Derbe

Two steps in the Lord’s commission for making disciples: baptizing and teaching.

  1. Baptism
    1. Baptism should be encouraged!
    2. Baptism is in the name of the triune God—all that He is and all that He does in His various activities are necessary for the new disciple.
    3. We don’t make disciples in our own names or our own likenesses.
      1. The Pharisees did, Matthew 23:15
      2. Galatians 4:19, Christ formed in you
      3. Colossians 1:28, Him we preach… everyone perfected in Christ
    4. We recognize that God makes every person and every culture into His own image.
      1. Acts 15:10-11, 19-20, 28-30, the Gentiles and faith
      2. Historical examples exist with colonial or imperial tones in evangelism
      3. It’s true that the relationship between faith and culture can be complex
      4. But this shows the power of Christianity! It’s not uniformity
  2. Teaching
    1. The desire is that others will increase in spiritual character and devotedness.
    2. It might be a formal relationship suggested by disciple-maker or disciple.
    3. But it is happening informally all the time, and it should be intentional.
    4. Tone is essential; the servant of the Lord must not strive but be gentle when teaching, 2 Timothy 2:24
    5. There are various areas of spiritual growth as we help other disciples.
      1. Faith, love, strength, knowledge, endurance, wisdom, giving, fruitfulness
      2. Collective growth in local congregations and new assemblies (Acts 16:5)
    6. Important verbs for disciple-making: edify, admonish, love, encourage; and others…

Disciple-makers must be persistent. The results are not about us!

  1. The Lord’s own results might have been discouraging (Jn. 6:66; Mt.16:11; Jn. 14:9)
  2. Apostles’ results might have been discouraging (Acts 8:13,20; 2 Th. 2:5; Heb. 5:11)
  3. Accept that others will be useful too, not just us; sometimes we are “others” (Jn 4:38)
  4. The Lord used power for signs to unbelievers but used relationship to make disciples

The crown of rejoicing

  1. Seeing others in the Lord’s presence whom we have helped spiritually, 1 Thessalonians 2:19
  2. The earnest desire for others to grow, 1 Thessalonians 3:7-10


Article series: Discipleship - Missions in Focus 2019

Daily discipline in a disciple's life Discipleship - Closing Remarks

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