Matthew 28:19–20 “Go therefore and make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”

We know about the Great Commission. The “going” is pretty clear. The question is more about the “making” portion of this scripture. I know I have scoured the bookstores and later the internet for the silver bullet for making disciples. As humans (and especially westerners)  we can make something simple more complex than need be.


The process of making disciples.

Every follower of Jesus should be helping unbelievers become believers. We believe that showing people the love of Christ in practical ways is by far one of the most effective ways. Basically, you are showing them, Christ.

It doesn’t stop there, however, every Christian should be helping other believers grow and mature. That is making a disciple.

The process doesn’t have to be complex. It’s not about more classes or curriculum. Discipleship is more about the intentional sharing of life.

Are you sharing life with someone who is spiritually younger? Is there someone further along in their spiritual walk that is sowing into your life? We need to have both 🙂 Some things are taught, and some things are caught. Life on life is the best of both worlds. In our busy lives, however, time is has become so limited. I would challenge you to discern how much time discipleship would really take.

As a mature believer, consider taking someone along with you as you live life. Let them see how you live. Let them in on your life – the good, bad, and yes sometimes ugly parts. Allow them to see how you navigate different situations as you lean into the Word and place your trust fully in God. Many people have never witnessed this type of modeling/mentoring in their life.


The cycle of discipleship

A person can not truly be called a disciple until they too are making disciples. And when they have accomplished this once, the cycle continues. This is not done begrudgingly or out of some form of legalism. This becomes a way of life for Jesus’ followers because they love God and love people.


What does this have to do with church planting?

I believe that if we focus on the Great Commission – the making of disciples, churches will inevitably be planted. If we merely set out to start churches, true discipleship may remain a daydream or theory at best.  

Unfortunately, over the past decade, we have seen churches planted but rather than have conversion growth, there was a rearranging of the Body of Christ. Instead of going out and reaching those who are far from Christ, church planters go out and attract believers from other churches. 

Some of these church planters have had numerical success and are have gone on to teach others how to plant “successful churches.” They of course leave out the parts that make them look bad or even unethical. I believe they know in their heart of hearts, that this is not the way God has chosen.


What if we could do things differently?

We can… and should! What if we set our hearts on the making of disciples? I believe this would make Jesus smile.

May we be a people who will always love the hurting and lost. We (His Church) are, after all, God’s plan A for the world and there is no plan B. 

May we represent Him well.