What are some important things to remember as we begin to take seriously this idea of making disciples? First and foremost, let’s take a cue from the apostle Paul regarding what the foundation of disciplemaking is meant to be. Here he compares his friends in the faith to a building:
“For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:9-11).
So, first we remember that disciplemaking must have the foundation of Jesus. What are some other key ideas?
• Ground your disciplemaking in the Scriptures. Because God’s Word is “living and active, sharper than a double-edged sword” (Hebrews 4:12), we must remember to have it be the source of truth that we depend on first and foremost. If I’m with people that I’d like to influence for the sake of Christ, or if I’m meeting with someone to help him grow in Christ, I share from the Scriptures.
• Simple and Pass-on-able. One of the biggest mistakes people make in discipling others is to make it heavy, complicated, too heady, or seem like something more easily done by pastors and vocational-ministry types. If we want the Gospel and the things people learn from Christ, through us to be passed on in a generational ripple of disciplemaking, the truths we impart to others must be simple, memorable, and in a form that is easily passed on.
• Head, Heart, and Hand. As we mentioned in a previous post, so much of Western Christianity has become information based. Disciplemaking is not a program or a curriculum! It’s a process where, by the Holy Spirit, people grow deeper in a relationship with God and His Son Jesus Christ, and are formed into His likeness. Although there will be new information and new ways of believing and thinking (Head), we must also make sure that our disciplemaking connects with people at a heart/soul level (Heart) and teaches new ways of living and behaving (Hand).
Do any of these key ideas reflect either a difficulty you’ve had in receiving discipleship from someone else or passing it on to others? What is a practical way you can base your disciplemaking on a foundation of Jesus?