You’ve most likely heard of the great commission (Mt. 28:19-20). This is Jesus command to all of his followers to make other followers, or disciples. But, practically, how do you do that?
For some reason, we expect to know how to make disciples without being taught. In the gospels the apostles repeatedly struggled to understand what it meant to follow Jesus…and they were with him! So, it’s no surprise that we would struggle.
I’m definitely in the process of learning how to make disciples. But, there are a few principles that guide me everyday. These principles help me to stay on mission. Anyone can do these! So, here are four principles that guide me as I try to make disciples…
1. Don’t add anything new.
The last thing any of us need is something else to do. We’re all too busy. I’m not suggesting that you add another program to your life. I’m not suggesting that you add anything.
When Jesus said, “Go,” the idea is that the disciples would be going somewhere. Jesus was saying, “As you go where you’re going, make disciples.” So, as you do the things you do, day in and day out, use those things as a way to make disciples.
For instance, do you eat three times a day? Think about how you can use your meals as a way to make disciples.
2. Never do anything alone…unless it’s absolutely necessary.
As you go and do the things that you’re already doing, think about who you can invite into those things. Or even better, think about who’s already there with you!
As a general rule, I try never to do anything alone unless it’s necessary. Some of the best discipleship times are on long car rides. If you’re going somewhere, take someone with you. This could be valuable time spent investing in someone.
3. Be focused.
In the gospels we see Jesus spending time with many different people. But, he’s consistently with the twelve. Within that group he really focused on Peter, James, and John. In the end, he loses Judas.
Jesus focused on 12, really focused on 3, and lost 1 along the way. I assume I won’t be able to do as well as Jesus. That means I’m going to be discipling a small group of people the vast majority of the time. Knowing this keeps me focused.
4. Share what you know.
My guess is, insecurity keeps most people from investing in making disciples. I feel it, too. There’s always this nagging feeling that I don’t know enough, that I’m not quite ready.
The reality is, I’m a work in progress. But, I do know a few things. I try to focus on sharing those. You don’t have to know much or be good at much. Just share what you know. Show people what you do.
I hope these principles help you. What do you do that helps you as you make disciples? I’d love to know!