What is every believer’s supreme purpose in life? All genuine followers of Christ should know the answer to this question. Christ gives our lives purpose and our purpose is clear. According to Jesus Christ, our purpose in life is to make and multiply disciples (Matthew 4:19; 20:18-20).
Living the D-Life–a lifetime lifestyle of disciple-making–is not just the life purpose of some believers, but for all believers. Regardless of age, gender, or personality, every believer is called to make and multiply disciples as a way of life.
Because of this, every church on the planet should kill its discipleship programs immediately. According to the Bible, there is no such thing as a discipleship program. Jesus did not model a discipleship program. The early church did not develop discipleship programs.
For Jesus and His disciples, discipleship was not a program, it was a way of life. During His three-year ministry, Jesus literally poured His life into discipling twelve men who, in turn, would go and disciple others as a way of life.
In many ways the modern church has destroyed the mission of the church by turning discipleship into a program. Most church members today think that discipleship is either going out and knocking on doors in a church’s visitation program or participating in a multi-week Bible study in a church’s discipleship program. Though these activities are not bad in themselves, neither are they a reflection of true biblical discipleship.
I firmly believe that a much needed and NEW REFORMATION of the church would occur if we would kill our discipleship programs and return to true biblical discipleship. True biblical discipleship begins with the spiritual conviction that every single believer is called to live a life of making and multiplying disciples. Disciple-making should not be an option for any follower of Christ. The Great Commission is not a suggestion. Making disciples of all nations is a total team effort and it will require us to make some changes.
SIMPLIFY, SIMPLIFY, SIMPLIFY
For most churches, instead of doing the ONE THING Christ commanded us to do we do many things Christ never commanded us to do. We involve our people in so many meetings and Bible studies, they have no time for true discipleship. You may ask, isn’t Bible study and discipleship the same thing? Not necessarily. Bible study that doesn’t reproduce is not discipleship. The goal of the church is not to add people to our Bible studies, but to multiply genuine disciple-makers. In order to multiply disciple-makers, we must kill some of our meetings and Bible studies that are not accomplishing this purpose. Think about it. Do you have any ministry in your church that is truly multiplying? It was never Christ’s plan for His church to grow by addition. Christ’s plan involved the exponential growth of His kingdom on earth through churches that multiply disciple-makers. Every church must simplify its ministry in order to multiply disciple-makers. Much of what we have been doing has not been working. Let’s stop it now before we lose the battle. Make the choice. Let us simplify, simplify, simplify, and focus like a laser on the one main thing Christ has called us to do–to make and multiply disciples.
EQUIP, EQUIP, EQUIP
As pastors, teachers, and ministers our job description is clear. Our job is to equip the saints for the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:12). The main work of ministry is to make and multiply disciples. It doesn’t matter how good I preach or teach, if I am not equipping an army of sold out disciple-makers, I am failing my job. As a minister, I must have the spiritual conviction that it is my purpose to equip every single person under my ministry as a disciple-maker. For many years, I feel that I failed at this. I bought into the great lie that this could be accomplished through a discipleship program. Never again! For the rest of my life I am passionately committed to equipping every person under my ministry to live a lifetime lifestyle of making and multiplying disciples. Through a simple process called D-Life, I am committed to equipping teenagers, young adults, and senior adults to make and multiply disciples for the rest of their lives. As a pastor, I want to be on the front line of leading a NEW REFORMATION of the church. I want to lead a church that is not obsessed with meetings and programs, but one that is truly obsessed with the Great Commission of making and multiplying disciples. I am working for and praying for the church to experience a NEW REFORMATION through a great obsession with the Great Commission.
For more information about D-Life go to: www.livethedlife.com. D-Life is an organic, intentional, and simple process for equipping all believers for a lifetime lifestyle of making and multiplying disciples.