If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17
Investing in God’s people from life to life
These pages are designed to aid study or investigation for Christian discipleship through individual Bible study, Cell groups, Home groups, or meeting one to one. The questions could be used alone allowing each person to use their own Bible.
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Jesus called on His followers to make disciples. So, what is a disciple? How would we know if someone was a disciple? How do we go about making disciples, or even developing a ministry that fosters the making of disciples?
Development is a process. A young disciple of Jesus will make mistakes because they are ignorant of many aspects of the Christian faith. Even if they do have a degree of understanding, they might make mistakes through lack of confidence that God will work in them or their situation.
2 Peter 1:5For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith, goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness;
A disciple is someone who follows Jesus. By its very nature, following Jesus means not giving our lives to other things. When Jesus clarified discipleship He contrasted it to keeping our lives for ourselves.
Mark 8: 34 Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, "If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.35 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it.36 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?*37 Is anything worth more than your soul?38 If anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."
Jesus was concerned about the inner qualities by which a person lived and the fruit of those qualities born not only in ones own life, but in the lives of those we influence.
1Thessalonians 1: 2We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. 3We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Lord works to shape the person who makes disciples. He knows that the fruit of our ministry will be shaped by our attitudes and lifestyle. He desires the very best for us and those we work with so he draws the best out of us through life circumstances.
In 1 Thessalonians 2:6-9 Paul tells of his love, and the price he was willing to pay on behalf of the gospel.
1 Thessalonians 2: 6-9 ... As apostles of Christ we could have been a burden to you, 7but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children. 8We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us. 9Surely you remember, brothers, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you.
As Jesus was ending his ministry on earth He told us, His disciples to participate with Him in His continuing mission on earth, to make disciples of all nations. What an amazing privilege to work with Jesus in this way.
Matthew 28:17-20 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
Helping people develop in disciple making requires that we back away from our situation and reflect on the overall ministry. A good mentor can help us do this. In the Bible Jethro mentors Moses. Jethro advises Moses to serve the needs of the people through others. This method serves those who are mature, for it enables them to participate in ministry. It serves those who are less mature for it gives opportunities of personal help in their own walk of faith.
Exodus 18: 20 Teach them the decrees and laws, and show them the way to live and the duties they are to perform. 21 But select capable men from all the people— men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain— and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. 22 Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you. 23 If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied.
PRINCIPLES OF DISCIPLESHIP