Missionary Discipleship Principles – part 1

Many people don’t know what discipleship is because they never had discipleship. Local congregations are full of people, but they are not making disciples. They are not preaching, proclaiming, testifying, or spreading the good news. You first need to tell someone about Jesus in order to get a response. If the person you testify to responds negatively, then they will not be getting discipled. If they respond positively, then what do you do? You make a disciple of them. But what if you do not know how to make a disciple?

But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

(John 16:13)

I have a friend whose father hand-made small sailboats. He knew how to make them because he was mentored by his father (my friend’s grandfather). You just can’t get on youtube to learn how to make sailboats. It is a skill that has to be learned. Someone somewhere made the first sailboat and passed the skill down through the generations. Jesus made the first disciples and fortunately for us, they wrote down the New Testament in order for us to do something: Make disciples. All we need to know is there. It is a long process of studying what they wrote and understanding what they wanted to communicate to us. But it would be the same in any difficult skill. You need to pay attention and take the time to understand what you are reading. You need a mentor and you need to learn a lot. If you do not have a mentor, you will have to trust the Holy Spirit to lead you and guide you into all truth. I pray what I write in this section will help speed up the process for you. But think about this. Someone made the first wooden sailboat by hand. I am sure that they made many mistakes, and probably had a scrap heap of wood that was unusable.

So if you are looking for something to inspire you to make disciples, you are in the wrong place. You need to have a conviction to make disciples. If you need inspiration, you probably won’t do anything about it. If you need a feeling of willingness, it will never come. It won’t move you to action. You need to get up and move against your feelings and inspiration level and go and testify Jesus Christ to the lost. You will make many mistakes. You might even have many failed attempts. If you keep reading your New Testament and keep looking, you will get better. If you follow this guide, you will be reading the New Testament to your new baby anyway and the Holy Spirit will also lead and guide your new disciple into all truth.

I don’t pretend to be able to mentor you through this blog, but it will be better than nothing at all. Most Christian congregations do not teach you the skill of discipleship. They were not personally discipled therefore, they cannot disciple you. You will usually go through some kind of program with a manual, or some basic doctrine for new believers. This is the quick solution to get you into a church mode of becoming a church sitting Christian. This is not personal discipleship. So you have no one who can disciple you. It will take longer to get into this by reading a blog, but you have to begin somewhere.

You will have to find a place where you can be alone, and open the Book of Matthew to chapter one. Slowly read the words and turn the pages delicately. Take time to absorbe what the Holy Spirit is guiding you in. This is your discipleship. You need to know Jesus more to begin to disciple others, but you can start testifying to someone today. The new believers in the book of Acts did not wait until they new Jesus more to begin to share their faith. they started immediately. This is important. They too made many mistakes. There is a dynamic that happens in the new believer who begins to immediately tell others what Jesus has done for them. Along the way, they are reading New Testament and growing in their faith.

Sharing your faith (testifying) is to find a disciple.

What most people are taught is that they need to evangelize. What does that mean? In today’s circles, it means being very nice to people until you can invite them to the local congregation so that they can be taught how to become “church members” or “better people” or “better fathers” etc.. This is the best they have to offer in most cases. But personal discipleship is what lost people really need. It is especially what new believers need. It needs to be personal. A pastor of a congregation (which is usually not the New Testament definition of a pastor) does not have the ability to personally disciple an entire congregation. Nor does he or she have the time to personally disciple someone. He has many people attending his services and is usually busy with the business end, politics, and other events, and is preparing for a Sunday sermon. He too knows nothing of personal discipleship and rarely has a disciple personally.

If you don’t have a disciple, you were probably not personally discipled

The word evangelism does not exist in the New Testament. There is the word “evangelist” which appears three times. This Greek word is “euangelists” and means messenger of good news. Another related word is “euangelion” and means the good news of the Kingdom of God which is salvation through Christ received by faith on the basis of Jesus’ atoning death, burial, resurrection, and ascension. Another related word is “euangelizo” which is the verb that means to preach the good news.

The most common teaching today is that an evangelist is someone preaching to large crowds in arenas and stadiums. Or that they are the only ones who are responsible for preaching the gospel. More intensive study of the New Testament reveals that every believer has the job of announcing, the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus’ last words, in his resurrected state, told us to make disciples. After we tell the good news, we then help the baby through its infancy so that they too can make a disciple.

In Ephesians chapter four, we read that the evangelist, among other serving roles, has announced the Gospel or preached the Gospel in places where it has not been preached before. It also says that an evangelist has the job to teach and train the saints for the work of proclaiming the gospel. It is a special serving gift to teach us normal Christians how to proclaim where He has not been proclaimed before.

Read the only three verses where the word evangelist appears:

Acts 21: 8- “The next day, leaving Paul and those with him were, we came to Caesarea; We entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him. “

4:11 and 12“And he gave some, apostles; some prophets; other evangelists; some pastors and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ. ” (boldface added)

2 Timothy 4: 5 – “But you be sober in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”

The purpose of the Church (the saints) in the world today

Purpose # 1: Proclaiming the Gospel, the Good News

Other keywords: Announcing, Preaching, Spreading the Word, Testifying, Teaching.

Acts 8: 4 – “Those who were scattered went about preaching the gospel.”

Luke 4:43 and 44- “But he said to them: It is necessary that other cities also preach the kingdom of God, because for this I was sent. 44 And he preached in the synagogues of Galilee. “

Mark 16:15 – “He said to them: Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”

(Matthew 24:12; Acts 8:25 35.40, 14:21, 26:23; Romans 15:20; Eph 3: 8 and 6:15; 1 Timothy 5:17; 1 Peter 3:15).

Purpose # 2: Make Disciples

Matthew 28:19 – “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

King James 1995-Study Edition (USA: United Bible Societies) 1998.

The word “disciples” and “disciple” are mentioned 233 times in the NT.

The Triangle: Three Parts Of Our Spiritual Life

We can compare our spiritual life to a triangle. The triangle has three sides. 1. Your relationship with God. 2. Your relationship with other brothers, fellowship, edification, encouragement, and unity. 3. Your work of proclaiming the gospel and making disciples. “Interaction with unbelievers.”

If one of the three sides of the triangle is missing, the triangle is weak or does not support pressure. Many Christians have a good relationship with God and with other believers, but their spiritual life is weak because of a lack of sharing their faith with others and making disciples.

When Christ called his disciples for the first time he did not say “Follow me, and come on down to the altar for prayer of salvation. Then come to the church service, and buy a Bible and a hymnal. And the most important part, must attend all services and faithfully pay your tithes. Jesus did not say that.

He told them, “Follow me and I will make them fishers of men.” Mark 1: 7

Jesus called the disciples who were fishermen. They were very important to their families and communities. Not only did they fish to feed their families, but also the community. It was an important job and it satisfied them knowing that they were doing hard work to provide food to others. It was work. Jesus told them that they would be doing a different kind of work and he used terms that they could understand. He had a more important job for them. From the beginning he gave them a purpose and satisfying work to do. They followed Jesus to learn how to catch men and make disciples for Jesus. Not just to be good Christians.

The youth of today are the next generation who will lead the Church into the future. But we are losing thousands of them for not teaching them from the beginning the Christian life is based in making disciples. We are saved, and now what? Do we just be good and hold on till the end? No. We have to save others. Obviously, Jesus saves them, but we need to get them to Jesus so that they can get others to Jesus. A baker bakes. A sailboat maker makes sailboats. A Christian produces other Christians. We are in Christ and now what? We help others get in Christ. Christians make other Christians. On the first day you became a Christian, had your physical body died, you would have eternal life. What more can you have? So, the age-old question of why we are here, what is the purpose of life, and what is the will of God is a simple answer. Make a disciple.

Often the local congregations’ membership is mainly adults and children. Why young people are not in church? Because they perceive that Christianity is nothing more than attending many church meetings. They somehow know that the Church is spiritually weak. They come for a while and find little to do. Some may aspire to be the leaders in the pulpits but few do. They want to do something, but often do not find much to do. They too are being discipled from a pulpit. Eventually they are going to get tired of it all. It is not necessarily that they want to live in sin, or that they didn’t receive Christ. All positions of work in the youth group are taken and they stay useless in the pews.

If we’re going to become strong Christians, we must get strong on all sides of the triangle. They all have to have equal lengths to be a strong triangle. We must teach young people and adolescents and even children to read their Bibles and to share their faith with people outside the church. Sharing, testifying, proclaiming, announcing, and spreading is to find a positive response that leads to one thing, to make disciples of them. When we do that, young people are going to see a strong Christianity that has purpose. It has work to do. They will be fulfilling the purpose God intended for them.

Read 2 Corinthians 5:11-21 then proceed to the next article.