As we research and dig into the topic of discipleship here at Bible.org we are finding that the need is great in the churches as Christ expected them to be disciplemaking factories and this is not happening in most churches around the world. We, here at bible.org, need to be intentional in our quest to locate and develop materials that will benefit our readers. More importantly we are seeking to fulfill the last command left to us by our Lord in Matt 28:18-20 “Go, Make Disciples, Baptize them, and Teach them”.
Oswald Chambers reminds us what happens when a church/ministry does a good job of evangelizing and bringing the lost to Christ but fails to make the investment in their lives to mature them. The result is immature believers, a lack of hope due to the lack of knowledge, sometimes but not always carnal lifestyles, and most importantly no new disciples who are equipped and entrusted with the truth to pass on to others. Are we guilty of giving out the gospel but not living out the gospel before them and with them? As one author said; discipleship must be done in the laboratory (that is the church and in intentional relationships) and on the battlefield of life where they are equipped with the full armor of God to fight against the wiles of the devil.
The model was set for us in the life of Jesus who set the pattern of discipleship in three basic ways: first He evangelized by seeking out and bringing them into the fold; secondly, He edified them through mentoring and modeling the character of the Father; lastly, He equipped them by teaching them the scriptures and testing them in real life application by sending them out two by two all for the reason that we might “turn the world upside down” for Him and His glory. In this pattern then we see that a disciple is not born but made. They are “made” through the building up of the saints through purposeful and meaningful and intentional relationships.
Jesus modeled for us the personal investing in the lives of others. He also modeled how to know God through the opened scriptures lived out in real life and He modeled the aspect of prayer. In short He modeled the greatest commandment “love God with all your mind (thinking, meditating, instructing, discerning), your heart (love investment between He and the disciples), and soul (feeding them truth and living or “testing” it out in real life). It is the one another passages being lived out in practical ways.
Based upon this snippet you can see that we are mulling over, researching, and seeking God’s wisdom on how to build an effective discipleship program that will help people abide in Christ so when they pray they will know God answers their prayers. John 15:7. We, like Solomon, ask this of you: Ps 72:15 “continually pray for us!”
We have put together a team to develop a project that should help the church and groups (3-9) develop into disciplemaking communities. Peter reminds us that our time here in earth is temporary and we are to mature into holiness. 1 Peter 1: 15 “but, like the Holy One who called you, become holy yourselves in all of your conduct, 16 for it is written, “You shall be holy, because I am holy.” 17 And if you address as Father the one who impartially judges according to each one’s work, live out the time of your temporary residence here in reverence.18 You know that from your empty way of life inherited from your ancestors you were ransomed – not by perishable things like silver or gold, 19 but by precious blood like that of an unblemished and spotless lamb, namely Christ.”
We need your help. If you have skills in disciple making, programming or in Biblical theology content development we would love to talk to you… Contact me David Austin about the churchdiscipleship project by clicking ChurchDiscipleshipProject on bible.org and filling out the contact form.