10 Steps to Effective Disciple Making
10 Steps to Effective Disciple Making
Bay Area Outreach members are committed to the discipleship lifestyle that is, being disciples of and making disciples of Jesus.
We have identified 10 steps to building great disciples for Christ. At Bay Area Outreach Ministries, we believe these steps to be vital at building true disciples. We would like to share these 10 steps with you so that you can have a better understanding of where we are going, depending on the Lord's guidance.
- The Gospel is and always will be the message.
Jesus' death, burial and resurrection is what is focused on. All who respond to these saving events are also called to discipleship, no exceptions, and no excuses (1 Cor. 15:1-8: Mark 8:34-38). The type of gospel message preached and believed dictates the kind of disciples we become and make. If we promote a watered down, non-discipleship kind of gospel message, we will fail. A non-discipleship gospel is one that does not include discipleship as a natural part of the message and expectation.
- Be compelled to be and make disciples of Jesus.
You must believe that Jesus Christ is supreme and He is worthy of all devotion, praise, worship and emulation. Disciple making is a necessary and natural part of life responses to Jesus. Jesus Himself made disciples who could make disciples. He has commanded us to do the same (Matt. 28:16-20: John 20:21).
- Jesus, the model for the life and ministry.
Scripture is very clear at showing us how to live life and how to make disciples. Jesus commands us to, "do what I have done" (John 14:12), and walk as I have walked" (! John 2:6). Paul understood this when he said, "imitate me as I imitate Christ" (1 Cor. 11:1). We seek to emulate his method and model. Discipleship demands us to follow the resurrected Christ. We follow the "Jesus model of Disciple Making", to summarize what we do. Why would we supplement or deviate from Jesus' perfect method?
- Let Love be the driving motivator for Disciple Making.
Loving God and people is our passion behind purpose, the motive of our mission, the drive behind our desire. For all true disciples, love is the motivating factor. Disciple making simply cannot happen without loving and caring relationships. Disciple making requires relationships, and as ministries grow, more relationship focused disciples are going to be needed. "By this will everyone know you are my disciples, if you love one another" (John 13:35).
- Verifiable fruit, how to measure your disciple making efforts.
God wants us to stay close to Him and bear fruit, more fruit and finally, "much fruit", so proving to be His disciple. While we continue to abide in Him, God will transform our hearts, then He leads us into lives of love. Jesus shows us how love creates disciples, reaching and developing His men and women and helping them grow from non-believers through to developing disciple makers (Matt. 28:19-20). Moving people from those who don't know Jesus through to becoming mature disciple makers, Jesus reveals the model to us. True, mature disciples aren't made until they are following Jesus' model of love and making more disciples. Only then is this fruitful multiplication.
- The Power of the Holy Spirit is the means.
Disciples cannot be made through fleshly efforts. During Jesus' time on earth, He fully acknowledged His dependence on the Spirit. Disciple making is a way of life, accomplished only through the Holy Spirit living through a surrendered and holy life (2 Cor. 3:16-17). Jesus fully depended upon the Holy Spirit, we should strive to do the no less.
- Christ's church is the environment.
Christ established His church, and it exists today for discipleship. The message and news of the Kingdom of God is carried out through disciples (Colossians 1:28-29). When churches attempt to change this process, as it is in many churches today, and churches try to get the world to the church instead of taking the church to the world, the results are chaos. The works of churches and ministries should be evaluated and rewarded based on the number of disciple makers they produce, not the number of people in a weekly attendance to hear a message, then live the rest of their week living a sinful, non-disciple type of life. Any church or ministry that doesn't exist solely on disciple making is a failure.
- Making sure disciple makers are well equipped for the movement.
As Christians, God has given each of us unique gifts as we are called to be disciples, to help make and grow more disciples. As leaders, we are also called to grow a movement of disciple making, this is the true meaning and calling of the church (2 Tim. 2:2). The way Jesus built a movement, is different from how He made a disciple. In order to create a disciple making movement, we must train and equip our leaders on how Jesus built a movement. Though this is a complicated, timely effort, the results will bear fruit that will remain. What this means is, we must assemble a team of disciple making leaders, equip them with disciple making best practices who can continue to grow our efforts of creating more disciple makers.
- Definitions of disciple making. 1) Helping people to trust or regain their trust and follow Christ (Matt. 28:18-20). This includes conversion through maturity and multiplication. 2) What is the definition of a disciple? A person who is following Christ, is being changed by Christ and is committed to the mission of Christ (Matt. 4:19).
- Scripture is the Basis.
We believe that al l66 books of the Bible are the authoritive, reliable and ultimate standard for discipleship and life (2 Tim. 3:16-4:2). The Bible was written by disciples, for disciples. Jesus identifies the true disciples as those who believe in Him, continue in His word and will be freed from sin by the truth. They will not be sinless, but blameless-free from the power of sin (John 8:30-36)