Jesus said, “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 the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to keep all that I commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20).
- Commanded of all believers
- A process that begins with evangelism (bringing people to faith in Christ)
- A process that continues with spiritual nurturing (helping grow people's faith in Christ)
- A process that results in more disciple-making
Disciple-making is the process of bringing people from unbelief to becoming devoted followers of Jesus who reproduce this process with others.
Being a disciple-maker is not hard or burdensome. In fact, it's a blessing to help others know Christ!
Disciple-Making: Part 1 - Evangelizing
Evangelizing is simply bringing Christ to people.
When God decided to describe evangelism in the Bible, the analogy He used most often is that of farming. And Jesus Himself showed us some key principles of evangelism in the Parable of the Sower (Luke 8:4-15).
In this parable, a man sowed seed in various types of soil. Some soil was hard or otherwise unfavorable for the seed to take root and produce a harvest. But the seed planted in good soil took root and produced a great harvest.
Out of all the parables Jesus told, this one is the only parable that Jesus explicitly explained to His disciples. The seed is the Word of God. The soils (hard, rocky, thorny, or good) are the hearts of people who hear God's Word. The Word of God will not take root in the hearts of people whose hearts are unfavorable to receive it, and they will not be saved. But for those people whose hearts are ready, they will receive the Word of God with joy, they will be saved, and produce a harvest of their own.
When you think about the people in your world who do not yet know Christ, consider where they are spiritually in relation to God. As if you were a farmer who is working the ground of the hearts of the lost, commit yourself to:
- PLOWING - Loving and praying for those far from Christ.
- PLANTING - Sharing God's Word with those asking about spiritual things.
- HARVESTING - Leading a willing receiver to Christ.
Disciple-Making: Part 2 - Spiritual Nurturing
Spiritual nurturing is helping believers faith in Christ grow.
When God decided to describe the spiritual nurturing of His children in the Bible, the analogy He used most often is that of parenting.
Just as a parent provides his or her child with loving care, the power of personal example, and instructions on how to live, new believers in Christ need a spiritual parent to provide them with these necessities.
When you think about the people in your world who need to grow spiritually, consider how you might serve them as a spiritual parent. As if you were a parent who provides the encouragement a person young in his or her faith needs, commit yourself to:
- NURTURING - Affirming and loving new believers.
- MODELING - Being a living example of a Spirit-filled Christian.
- TEACHING - Providing the nourishment of God's Word.