Go and make disciples. – Matthew 28:19
Disciples of Jesus Christ are made. Somehow, especially in the American version of Christianity, we have come to believe that if a sinner prays a prayer to receive forgiveness, they will magically become disciples. The parable of the sower plainly refutes this notion. There was nothing wrong with the seed, it was perfect, but the ground that it fell on determined what happened to it. The majority of Americans are so used to having everything handed to them that the notion of any effort being made on their part is foreign. “Go and make disciples” requires effort.
Everyone reading this needs to think about this question:
What is my process for making disciples? Really think about it before you move on. I would venture to say that inviting people to church is most people’s plan. Back in 2001, the Sunday after the 9/11 attacks, the churches were filled. I can’t prove it, but I think that Sunday had the highest American church attendance on record. More people came looking for hope and looking for answers than at any point in my lifetime. It did not produce disciples. After a couple of weeks, things just went right back to normal.
Normal in America is just not good.
I’m going to offer up a plan for you to try out. It is certainly not the plan, but I believe it is a plan that works. Before you even attempt this plan, you have to answer a very serious question of yourself: Am I a disciple? I did not ask if you go to church, call yourself a Christian, play on a church sports team, or anything else nominal American Christians do. I am asking you if you follow Christ regardless of the cost to yourself? When you fail to follow Him, does it absolutely eat you alive inside until you make it as right as possible? If you answer yes to these questions, you are a good candidate to make other disciples, if you answer no, then you are pretty much useless in this endeavor. You need to humble yourself, find a real deal follower of Christ, and ask them to disciple you. Only disciples can make disciples.
Here is the plan: find at least one other person willing to meet with you on a regular basis for a fixed number of days. I like the number 60 for some reason. I imagine that a seed planted in the ground where the ground is regularly being checked on, watered, fertilized, and weeded will have a good chance of making it after 60 days of growth. The meetings don’t have to be long at all, 10-20 minutes works just fine. Longer periods of time work well, too. The main thing is that you make the meetings doable.
After the time has been set, be it before work, after work, during lunch break, morning, evening, whenever y’all decide, here is the grand plan . . . are you ready for this? It is only three simple steps.
- Read the Bible
- Talk about it
Might I suggest a starting point? Romans 3:23. Talk to the person about how “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Put yourself in the same boat as the person or people you are trying to disciple. Let them know that unless your name is Jesus Christ, you need Jesus Christ. Tell them that you are not even close to where you need to be yourself, but God has changed you, is changing you, and you want them to really know the same God you know. Make it clear that you don’t want anything from them, but simply want something for them. Pray for God to make your time together fruitful.
After that, it is up to you and God. Pray for the person or group of people daily. Ask God what verses you should read. Ask the Holy Spirit to take over your words as you talk about the scriptures. Bind the powers of evil. Believe it or not, you are capable of doing this stuff if you are in Christ. How do I know? Because of the last verse of the Great Commission:
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. – Matthew 28:20
He’s with us. He’s with you. There is no excuse. Go make a disciple.