He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ. Colossians 1:28
Since 2008 training disciples and teaching on how to make disciples of Jesus have become our main focus and the core of all our ministry.
In 2 Timothy 2:2 the Apostle Paul urges his disciple and fellow worker Timothy to pass on his knowledge of and experience with God to others. In the words of Paul: “… the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.” Paul himself understood the command of Jesus to make disciples and not only taught on the subject but fulfilled the command in practice by making disciples. Paul replicated the example of our Lord. Jesus himself not only gave the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) but also spent most of his time and devoted most of his attention in ministry to making disciples.
We believe building disciples is much like growing oaks – it takes time, sometimes a lot of time and effort, and most of the work remains rather invisible. The end product, however, is one of the most rewarding things in the world. When you look at disciples faithfully being “grown” over time, you really see “a planting of the Lord” that has roots deep into the living soil of the Word, branches that provide protection for others, and fruit that can in turn feed others with wisdom and truth.
We believe this is also one of the main areas of future ministry to which God is calling us nationally and internationally. Discipleship as demonstrated and commanded by Jesus can hardly be described as a project. In reality it is nothing less than a lifestyle. Our constant aim is to train followers of Jesus to grow in spiritual maturity and Christ-likeness. In our discipling of others we are not concerned about numbers and quantity, but about quality. We are convinced that many underdeveloped disciples can only multiply into more underdeveloped ones. But a high quality disciple is able to ultimately reach out and train many other quality disciples. You do the math!
Of course the biggest question is always: How do you train disciples of Jesus? What do you actually do? Things are much simpler than we sometimes make them to be. We have made a conscious decision to follow a set of principles from the life and ministry of Jesus himself. According to the gospels, discipleship was marked by simplicity, personal relationship and availability, divine example, long-term investment, long-lasting results, and focus on quality. We select disciples, spend time with them and develop long-term relationships, lead them into obedience to God’s Word and challenge them to consider the cost of following Jesus, demonstrate to them a pattern of life and ministry, allow them to apply in practice what they have learned by delegating to them responsibilities and by supervising their work, join the Holy Spirit in encouraging them to multiply by investing themselves in the lives of others. When it gets to specifics, we conduct one-on-one or small group regular (mainly weekly) meetings often around meals and a lot of ice cream during which we study the Word and pray together, we discuss character development and matters of personal and ministry nature, we help disciples evaluate their ministry gifts and discern their ministry calling, we read together and discuss spiritual growth books and materials, and we encourage disciples for practicing of spiritual disciplines.
We believe that true discipleship is only possible when it is done the way Jesus did it. This was Jesus’ strategy for evangelism and reaching out to a lost world. Disregarding Jesus’ own example in making disciples and placing our bid on human schemes and strategies is a total neglect of the true call of the Great Commission and direct offense against our Lord himself whose example we claim to follow. Discipleship is nothing less than a lifestyle!
One of our core formal trainings is focused on how to make disciples. The link below will take you to a description of the training, format and content highlights.
DISCIPLESHIP: “RECOVERING GOD’S ORIGINAL PLAN FOR REACHING OUT TO THE WORLD WITH THE GOOD NEWS OF JESUS”
Click here to read more about our own discipleship journey and our understanding of the biblical picture of true discipleship. Also click here to contact us for more information on how we can be of help to you personally or to your church or mission organization in the area of personal spiritual growth and making-disciples of Jesus.