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Jesus Was A Genius

I know what you are thinking, “Well Duh!  Of course He was!”  Yet, we don’t follow the genius of His strategy very often.  In The Master plan of Evangelism Robert Coleman said, “All of this certainly impresses one with the deliberate way that Jesus proportioned His life to those He wanted to train…Though He did what He could to help the multitudes, He had to devote Himself primarily to a few men, rather than the masses, so that the masses could at last be saved.  This was the genius of His strategy.”

Discipleship is a biblical command for every follower of Christ.  We have three obligations as disciples.  First, we are to follow Jesus.  Second, we are to help others follow Jesus. Third, we are to help others to help others follow Jesus.  Yes, it sounds simplistic because it is.  We are to help everyone we meet either to follow Jesus or to equip them to help others follow Jesus.  If we want to make a difference in people’s lives we have to be different.  We are not talking about an outward difference but an inward transformation and with a greater focus on discipleship.  The goal in the scriptures is not to find them, gather them, or improve them.  The object is to “make disciples.”       

Coleman also said,Better to give a year or so to one or two people who learn what it means to conquer for Christ than to spend a lifetime with a congregation just keeping the program going.….It might well be that some cherished plans of our own making will have to be redirected or perhaps abandoned altogether.  Equally agonizing may be the adjustment of the congregation to the Master’s view of the ministry.”  Please realize that training is an event but discipleship is a relationship.  The reality is that as you study the way Jesus discipled the expectations were obedience and passing on what they had learned to others.  Can you correctly call yourself a disciple if you have never made a disciple?

In Real Life Discipleship Jim Putman gives an excellent formula for discipleship. “An Intentional Leader + A Relational Environment + A Reproducible Process = An Infinite Number of Disciples.”   The path to discipleship is not new but by many it needs to be rediscovered.  It will require a major shift in many Christians’ way of thinking and following Christ.  It is about new behaviors and requires the following.  It will require a radical adjustment to missional behaviors and making disciples.  Next, it requires realigned activities where it is not just church activities but time dedicated to one on one discipleship.  Then, it requires relevant approaches that are relational where our focus is doing life day by day with people and not just programs.  Lastly, it requires redemptive action where we extend God’s grace to the lost, the last, and the least.  

Here are some Disciplemaking Principles from David Watson and City Team Ministries.  Please consider the radical changes these principles demand for them to become a reality in your life.

  • ·         Hold your leaders accountable to be making disciples.
  • ·         A disciple is not a disciple until one makes another disciple.
  • ·         Focus on the few to win the many.  Jesus did.
  • ·         It’s about discovery, not preaching or teaching.
  • ·         Obedience is more important than knowledge.
  • ·         Disciple to conversion, not convert to make disciples.
  • ·         The discipling process begins with lost people.
  • ·         Expect the hardest places to yield the greatest results.
  • ·         Prayer is the starting point for all disciplemaking.
  • ·         Keep all things reproducible.
  • ·         Following Jesus is about obeying God regardless if anyone else obeys God.
  • ·         You have to be intentional about the end product: discplemakers.
  • ·         Accountability and intentionality are critical.
  • ·         Making disciples is not a knowledge process-it is a relationship process