I have never been very good at playing darts. I hit the wall more than I hit the dartboard and it would take a miracle for me to even come close to hitting the bullseye. Oh well, it is just darts right? A little spackle and paint and the wall will look new again. No big deal!
The same cannot be said about discipleship. Discipleship is not just a game. It is a big deal–really big! According to Jesus, it is every believer’s supreme purpose in life. Jesus has called us to a life of making and multiplying disciples. The problem is that disciple-making is not a strength for many Christians or churches. When it comes to genuine discipleship, we often not only miss the mark, but we are missing the whole dartboard. I think there are a couple of reasons for this.
DISCIPLESHIP THAT MISSES THE MARK
First, there is a common misconception about discipleship. Many think of discipleship as either evangelism or teaching. Discipleship does involve evangelism, but is not evangelism alone. Likewise it involves teaching, but it is not teaching alone. We must not separate the two. The discipling process of Jesus joined together both evangelism and teaching in a relational small group environment that included mentoring and accountability.
Secondly, we need a simple process of multiplication for discipleship. Few believers today live a lifestyle of reproducing disciples. Most churches do not have a simple process for equipping believers to make and multiply disciples. Rarely do churches have any ministries at all that are truly multiplying. For the most part, we are attempting to reach the world by addition and we cannot keep pace. Jesus’ plan for world evangelization was not one of addition, but one of exponential kingdom growth through the remarkable process of multiplication. This is why, in His three short years of ministry, Jesus literally poured Himself into the discipleship of twelve men. He invested His life into twelve ordinary men who would continually reproduce as trained disciple makers and have a significant impact on the world for God’s kingdom.
DISCIPLESHIP THAT CANNOT MISS
Think about it. During His three short years of ministry, Jesus modeled for us a process of discipleship that cannot miss. He started a movement that cannot be stopped. It is time to return to the movement.
What if we simply followed His example? What if we actually did discipleship the way He did it? We could return to an unstoppable movement and reclaim our lost world for Christ. In fact, we could reclaim our world faster than you can imagine.
What can we learn from Jesus about discipleship that cannot miss? What does it look like? Observe with me the simple process of discipleship that Jesus modeled.
It was discipleship for common people. The small group that He called to be His disciples were ordinary people living ordinary lives. They were not impressive, wealthy, gifted, or highly educated. They didn’t have it all together. They came from diverse backgrounds and had different personalities.
It was anytime and anywhere discipleship. It was not confined to a building. He met with His disciples in homes, hillsides, and the market place. There were no limitations.
It was discipleship made simple. It was not complicated. Jesus and His disciples would fellowship together and pray together. He would tell a story and they would discuss it. He taught with parables. He gave few lectures, but asked many questions. His teaching involved more interaction than sitting and listening.
It was evangelistic discipleship. Few, if any, of His disciples were true believers from the start. He discipled them to faith. He taught them how to evangelize and minister to others through on-the-job training. They went out with Him and learned from Him. Then He sent them out to do the work He had equipped them to do.
It was discipleship with accountability. Because His group was small, Jesus could hold each one of His disciples accountable to the things He taught them. Accountability was a vital part of their relationship.
It was reproducible discipleship. Jesus told His small group of disciples from the very start that His goal was to make them fishers of men. He told them all along that He would not remain with them forever. He commissioned them at the end to go make other disciples. Jesus modeled a reproducible process of discipleship with multiplication as the ultimate goal. It was a movement that cannot be stopped.
Only one thing can stop the movement Jesus began. Us! We can choose to not follow His example. We can choose to disobey His Great Commission. We can keep trying to come up with better ideas and better programs and we can keep losing our world.
It is time to return to the movement! Time is running out. The need is urgent! I am praying for a movement of common believes of all ages and genders who will dare to follow the simple process of discipleship that Jesus modeled and begin to live a lifestyle of making and multiplying disciples. This is discipleship that cannot miss!
To join this movement I encourage you to check out LIVING THE D-LIFE offered by Life Bible Study. D-Life is an organic, intentional, and simple process for equipping all believers for a lifestyle of making and multiplying disciples. It is modeled after the example of Jesus. It is not a new program; it is a lifestyle. It is a Bible-centered and simple approach to discipleship that cannot miss. For more on D-Life visit: www.livingthedlife.com.