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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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.
Making disciples is a ministry of depth and is best when focused on a few. It is concerned with how we walk with God. It follows the pattern laid down by the Lord both at creation and at the introduction of the law by Moses This runs counter to our production society where those who minister are looking for methods that will ‘work’ for all people, and produce results if the formula is followed.
A good place to start is the original commission that Jesus gave to His disciples after His death and resurrection. Until this point the disciples’ ministry had been an extension of Jesus’, sent out to prepare the way for Him. Now, in Matthew 28:17-20 (NIV) Jesus changes tack and in commissioning them entrusts the initiative with His disciples.
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."
Since the model of ministry in our day is by leaders to many lay people, there is an assumption that this is the way it has always been. In the next text we see the old testament way of ministry.
Deuteronomy 4:1-14 (NIV)
Deuteronomy 4: 9 Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. 10 Remember the day you stood before the LORD your God at Horeb, when he said to me, "Assemble the people before me to hear my words so that they may learn to revere me as long as they live in the land and may teach them to their children."
Beyond family, the only instruction for passing on God’s teaching was a reading of the Word by the priests once a year in Jerusalem, clearly more a refresher than staple teaching. The synagogue system was introduced 900 years later at the time of the exile.
The focus is not on a message, but on spiritual influence. Godly and whole hearted living for God is seen and understood by those who are closest. Making disciples flows from being disciples.
Healthy growth flows from a healthy seed. Time and again through Biblical history we see God’s concern for the godliness of the one through whom His people are going to grow. He works with individuals to develop them and moves on to work through their relationships. This is seen in the family through whom all began. Genesis 1:26-28 (NIV)
Genesis 1:26-28 26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground."
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."
WHY MAKE DISCIPLES