Several years ago when I was studying for my Master’s degree I was taught these simple truths. The realities of Disciple Making came alive to me as though I had never been doing it quite right. I realized then what I have been striving to put into practice ever since…Making Disciples is intended to be a part of everything you do as a believer. Here are five areas of your walk with Christ that if you change just slightly you can be more effective in Making Disciples of all nations.
Yes, cast your cares upon the Lord because He cares for you (1 Peter). Yes, present your requests to God. Yes, ask, seek, and knock and He will answer! But have you ever thought that an essential truth to all of that is that we are to pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers to the field (Luke 10). We are to pray that God would save people. We are to pray that God will bring clarity, and open up the mystery of the gospel to the lost (Colossians 4). We don’t need to simply pray, we need to pray intentionally for God to Make Disciples through us.
Some of us enjoy studying. Some of us don’t. The reality is that many of only study when we have to. Right, we study when it is our turn to teach the Sunday School lesson. Or, we study when we realize that our kids know more about the Bible stories than we do. But it is best for us to study as though we are always going to be teaching. We should always be ready to give an answer (1 Peter 3). We should be preparing our minds for action (1 Peter 1). We should be renewing our minds (Romans 12). We read the Bible each day, not just so we can check a box off our to-do list. We study the nuances of Scripture, not just so we stay one step ahead of our 1st grader. We seek to know God’s Word so that we can be ready, prepared, and renewed to be Disciple Makers.
I’m sure you aren’t shocked by this one. Right, a preacher telling you that you have to give money in order to be a Disciple Maker-Big Shock. Well, here is the truth. Scripture has over 2600 references to money, giving, and spending. Therefore, it is clearly a significant discussion point throughout all of it. The reason it seems so significant is because it can be so effective. Do you realize how your money is effectively used to help get the gospel around the World? For instance, at our church, 10% of every non-designated dollar given to the church goes to disciple making in other contexts. We give money to the local Baptist Association, the State Convention, and the Southern Baptist Convention (who allocates monies to support missionaries around the United States (NAMB) and the globe (IMB). Not to mention the thousands of dollars allocated within our budget that are designated for mission partnerships, evangelistic training, spiritual development, and biblical equipping. Give your money to these causes because these causes help unify the church in her effort to Make Disciples.
You may have thought that this would have been the first on the list. However, the reality is that going is often times the first thing people want to do without doing any of the other. But if you haven’t prayed, studied, or given anything-I might simply prefer that you stay home. Yet, if you have prayed, studied, and are actively giving, then what is stopping you from taking this all important step of taking the truth of the Gospel to the lost.
Finally, one of my favorite words to think about in regards to Making Disciples. When we most effectively Make Disciples we are training and equipping Disciples who will go on to Make more Disciples and so on and so forth. The goal is not simply to make converts but to intentionally send others out that they too may train others for this very same work (2 Timothy 2:2).