HERE ARE SOME DISCIPLESHIP “HOW TO” IDEAS and some other thoughts that may be practically helpful in your thinking
1) keep it simple
2) do what you can, not what you can’t
3) impact folks with whom you are already in relationship
4) get going and learn by doing!
Jesus life was ordered by his objective (winning souls, world evangelism). Not for one moment did Jesus lose sight of his goal.
* Entrust the gospel message to reliable men
* At first glance it might have appeared that Jesus had no plan
* Unassuming and silent, unnoticed – amazing simplicity
* “Men” were his method of world conquest… a few men. His concern was the men the multitudes would follow.
* Select a few laymen, and keep the group small in order to work
Narrow the select men to a manageable number (principal of concentration)
Pursue men that can lead multitudes
Devote to a few men in order to save the masses
The men must believe in you. They must want to do it
They are the first priority, all of the time. Everything else “fits in” as able.
Go on the road with the men; take them together (get a van if necessary)
There is something about sharing your faith, working together that produces
When disciples are ready, send them out and debrief for instruction
Knowledge is gained by association, not explanation. More is caught then is Taught. Here there is more unofficial, than official meetings.
Run errands with, or simply talk
Come and follow me
Don’t “try to lead”, rather let them follow.
In order to let them follow, you have to be with them, be observable
Modeling. They are watching you – be a visible example
Come and see. Watch him do his deal
When alone together the disciples could talk things over and there in private They
could see Him intimately.
One living sermon is worth a thousand explanations
In his presence they could learn all they needed to know
He chose 12 that they might be with him
Personal appointment of constant association
As time went on, Jesus spent increasingly more time with them, not less.
Frequently he took them on retreats … they took trips together
The need to be alone with his disciples
He scarcely let them out of his sight
No format, no formula
He was with them individually, in small groups and large groups
Favor shown to a small group in training
Principle of concentration and selectivity
Everything is done for the few so that the multitudes might be influenced.
The multitudes are won easily if given leaders that they can follow
No crash programs. Get to those individuals who the people follow
Train a few of the humble to become great
Reproduce your life in a few chosen men who will carry on the work
We are living for the next generation
Jesus make it a practice to be with them
Incredibly simple. No formal school, no outward courses.
All Jesus did to teach was to draw them close to himself. He was their school
curriculum; there was a natural informality. Jesus asked only that his disciples
Knowledge communicated in terms of walking among them.
The disciples were distinguished by having “been with him” (Acts 4:13)
His whole ministry revolved around them
If others came around, they were welcome, but his mission was the few men
If you wanted Jesus, you got the disciples also (could not separate)
He was 100% on call for them so that they would watch him
He ate with them, slept with, talked with, walked with, traveled with, prayed
and worshiped with.
Even when Jesus was ministering to others, the disciples were always with him. He let them watch him in action publicly also. The disciples were always there to
observe and listen. This was a double dividend, in that without neglecting
regular ministry to those in need, he maintained constant ministry to his
disciples. Thus they got the benefit of everything Jesus said and did for
others, plus with his personal counsel and explanation in private after.
This virtually means Jesus had no time to call his own
Jesus purposely reserved the most revealing things for his few chosen ones
He deliberately invested all he had in a few men so they could be properly
While Jesus trained his men, others were welcome to come along (women also)
You come together in order to “go out”. It is for service sake, not to have a
special “clique” in isolation (though there are times of isolation for instruction
sake). Give yourselves away in service and devotion to the Lord.
He never forced his lessons upon them. Rather, he just kept praying until the
disciples asked him to teach them. Give them lessons when their hearts are
ready to receive them. He never ceased to use the scriptures in his
conversations with them.
Teach them how to win and train souls… the bottom line
He took advantage of the teaching situations that occurred in everyday life, since
he was with them. It made learning “realistic”.
Practice with them
Don’t ask people to do what you haven’t demonstrated first
Show them how to do it
They are constantly with you
Find and train men to reach men
Work for men, seek them. Win them. Train them.
The best work is always done with a few
Plan to do many things together that you would be doing anyway
Teach them to “give it away”
All the disciples had to teach them was not “curriculum” but the teacher
The only way a father can properly raise a family is to be with them
Don’t overlook the “commonplace” as a vehicle of instruction
Many can attach themselves to the disciple community, but any personal
attention given to those outside of the community was done also with them.
Develop men who could in turn give this kind of attention to others
The church was the means of following up all those who followed beyond the few
Specific commitments (including summer’s) renewable by us both, though at any point someone could “opt out” of the commitment.
Travel with; continue with, mission project with… first as a few men together, then
As individuals if only some of the group is available
Constant personal attention to a few chosen men
Building men requires constant personal attention. No class or organization can
Ever do that.
Persons must stay right with those whom they seek to lead
Be together as much as possible.
He gave all he had. Northing was withheld, not even his very life.
The things cherished, physical satisfaction, etc. he refused. While the things
they sought to escape (poverty, humiliation, sorrow unto death), he welcomed
No service is too small, no sacrifice too great
World evangelism… one man at a time
Mass recruitment is an easier strategy, but much less effective, long term
We don’t need better methods, we need better men
Christian disciples are “sent men”
Evangelism is the “heartbeat” the one thing that is most necessary of all that we
are called to be and do. It gives meaning to everything else we say and do
Give practical work assignments and expect them to be carried out
The work is the evangelization of the world
Intentional training, always purposeful, always an agreed upon “reason” for
attempting. Not just doing “whatever”.
Be intentional, or little will get done
Have a plan and execute it
The Christian worker is never without personal supervision
Learn by doing, apply the education that you are getting
Keep the vision clear….world conquest
Disciples must be brought to maturity, then turn them loose to do unto others
All things with a purpose. Storm the heights, don’t hold the fort
Reproduce and teach others to reproduce
Set the direction. Set the pace.
Make leaders not followers
Our concern is for the next generation
Win and train
Give the disciples opportunities to do outreach, as a group and then two by two.
Get them into a position of vital relationship with God
Be delighted that they bring others around
Jesus kept the vision before them by his activity
Make fishers of men… win souls
The disciples needed to put into practice what Jesus had taught them. He sent
them forth and debriefed them afterwards, pushing them into the world.
Concentrate your time on the most promising individuals
The concern of Jesus was “togetherness”
Never ask anyone to do something that you are unwilling to do yourself.
The disciples often went out in advance to set ministry up
Holy Spirit empowered mission
The kindness of God – be kind.
Feed the sheep