Christians need to be highly committed to guiding other Christ-followers to become more and more like Christ. This involves identifying Christlike disciples who are willing to be disciple makers, but it also requires finding those who are faithfully walking with Jesus and making them aware of their potential for becoming disciple makers. In the same way that Jesus gathered traveling companions around Himself and mentored them as disciple makers, we are called to gather other members of the Body of Christ and mentor additional disciple makers.
Nazarene Discipleship International (NDI) desires to enable us to be and make Christlike disciples. We need to identify Christlike disciples who will join us in fulfilling our mission “to carry out the Great Commission to children, youth, and adults in preparation for a lifelong journey of being and making Christlike disciples in the nations.” We need them to help us equip more disciple makers who will assist local churches globally in “reaching non-believers for Jesus; establishing new believers in their faith in Christ; and walking with believers to a fully surrendered, heart-cleansed, fruit-bearing, and Spirit-filled life.” Our disciple makers need to affirm and be willing to help others affirm our five core discipleship principles of “fervent prayer, compassionate outreach, comprehensive biblical learning, intentional mentoring and equipping, and authentic relationships.”
As Perkins points out in Walk with Me, we need to prayerfully be led by the Holy Spirit to identify new disciple makers who are FAST:
F – faithful and dependable disciples
A – available and willing to establish time and disciple making priorities
S – submitted absolutely to Jesus
T – teachable and hungry to learn.
Helping Christlike Disciples to Be Disciple Makers
This means moving Christ-followers from meetings “for being discipled” to meetings “for being disciple makers.” Discussion will move toward helping others they are discipling to know and follow Jesus.
As Charles “Chic” Shaver has observed, discipleship is first engaging in evangelism and then engaging in activities to Conserve the Converts. It is essential for someone to first become a Christ-follower before we attempt to disciple them to be disciple makers. It is important that new disciple makers understand and at least begin to practice some basics for new and growing disciples. Shaver’s Basic Bible Studies for New and Growing Christians has helped hundreds of thousands of new believers. These discipling resources are available from the Foundry Publishing as leaflets or as an ESL booklet and in digital formats. They are also available in many Nazarene ministry languages via the Wesleyan Holiness Digital Library (WHDL).
Disciple makers need to be equipped to help new believers understand what has happened to them as new Christ-followers. They now belong to God. They must be established and assured in their new faith in Christ. They must be orientated in basic Christian discipline. They must engage in daily Bible reading. They will guide new believers in praying daily. They must frequently meet with other believers. They need to learn to consistently obey God. They must witness of Christ to others.
Disciple makers need to be enabled to help new Christ-followers be guided by the Holy Spirit so they will consistently walk with Jesus, trusting God, overcoming temptation and avoiding sin. They need to be filled with the Holy Spirit, made clean and pure within, and empowered for holy living. They must begin to talk with God: declaring their desire to remain in Jesus all the time, praying with thanksgiving, giving glory to God for all He has done, confessing any known disobedience, and telling God what they feel in their hearts.
Disciple makers need to be ready to help new believers learn from God by studying God’s Word daily to find God’s truth, taking God’s Word to heart, discovering God’s plan for their lives, and receiving God’s promises to us as Jesus’ disciples. They must witness for Jesus. They will tell others what Jesus has done for them. They will testify of what they see and hear. They will help draw others to Jesus. They need to learn that Christians’ testimonies should include what they were before they became Christians, how they became Christians, and what Jesus means to them. Jesus is their Friend. New believers need to also understand that baptism shows others that they are Christians.
Disciple makers need to help new believers unite with Jesus and other Christ followers. They become part of the family of God, called the Church. They recognize Christ as the head of the Church. They show others a lot of love as brothers and sisters in Christ. They need to be introduced to ways Christians fellowship with each other. They need to discover the role of their pastors and other leaders of their local churches. They need to join a local church so they will grow in their Christian faith. Disciple makers also help new believers understand that in the Lord’s Supper Christians remember Christ in a special way.
Finally, disciple makers need to be able to help new believers share with Jesus. New believers need to do everything for the glory of God. They need to understand how to show their love for God as well as how to show their love for others. They need to discover how to live to please God. They need to be guided on establishing new attitudes. They need to determine to use every opportunity to do good. Disciple makers need to be able to enable new Christ-followers to honor God.
Let’s find ways to identify new potential disciple makers and equip them to be disciple others. Would you share with us how you are identifying potential new disciple makers? Would you share ways you are equipping new disciple makers? Please communicate with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mon, 10/17/2022 – 14:48