As I continue to pray through the issue of making disciples, I’m increasingly convinced that the average Jesus-follower in America today has little idea how this works. On a personal level, I’ve been burdened by this question: with all the time, energy, and resources that I’ve poured into “doing ministry” (teaching, organizing worship services, serving the community), how effective have I been in equipping others to make disciples? In other words, have I effectively led people in the churches I’ve served over the past two decades to intentionally invest in a few others in such a way that they are leading others to follow Jesus? I’m thoroughly convinced we can have compelling scriptural teaching, moving times of praise, strategic acts of service, even a growing congregation and still miss this most foundational principle. I’m also convinced that whether our churches are based around a big worship service, home groups, community service or carry labels such as contemporary, traditional, attractional, missional, or organic, that we need to rediscover the disciple-making culture that defined Jesus’ ministry, the church of Acts, and the apostle Paul’s church planting endeavors. I believe creating this culture requires asking the right questions- of ourselves, our leaders, and those who consider themselves followers of Jesus.
Questions we need to be asking:
- What is God teaching you-especially through personal time in prayer and the scriptures?
- What challenges, trials, and temptations are you struggling with as you pursue Jesus?
- How are you practically living out the good news of Jesus in your family, friendships, workplace, and community?
- Who are the two or three people you’re intentionally investing in and discipling?