The foundational theology in the book of Genesis begins with the creation narrative. It sets important precedents and beginnings we should pay attention to. One is the Old Testament starting point for the idea of disciple-making.
In the beginning, God created humankind in whose image? … Correct: His image. From the beginning, men and women were designed to reflect God in this world. Then, in Genesis 1:26-28, God tells man to “be fruitful and to multiply.” We see from the beginning of time that God intended for His image to be reflected and replicated. He wanted His people to increase in number—more and more “mirrors” who would display His goodness in this world. And certainly, God’s mandate to Adam and Eve at the beginning of human history implies not only physical reproduction, but the replication of the image of God—spiritual reproduction.
If Dawson Trotman, founder of The Navigators, is known for one message, it’s his message Born to Reproduce, which presents clearly the destiny for every follower of Jesus—we are born (in Christ) to reproduce the Christ-life in other people.
When, at the end of His earthly life, Jesus gave the famous Commission to His disciples, it was really a reiteration of a theme that God had started at creation—to be fruitful and multiply:
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20).
The call to “generational disciplemaking” is simply this: We are to endeavor to see the life of Jesus reproduced in the lives of other people.
Are you fertile spiritually? What keeps you from intentionally engaging with other people to see them come to know and follow Jesus? Who are a couple of people God has placed in your life for this very purpose?
Whether they are family members, work associates, or people you know from other activities, take a moment to pray for them by name, that God will help you bring them to the point of following Jesus Christ.