Christianity is not a “Lone Ranger” sport. Many times in the Christian life, we see converts left to their own devices because too many of us today get excited for the conversion and then don’t stay committed to the teaching of Christ’s way. To be a disciple, we need to be shown and taught how to be a life-long follower of Jesus. It is crucial as Christian leaders that we engage in multiplying faithful followers of Christ.
We are told in Acts 4:13, “Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus.” Jesus trained His disciples to be confident and committed followers. How did Jesus do this? Jesus lived life among His followers, He lifted truth out of the Scriptures, listened to struggles, and led them to multiply truth in others. The strategy is no different for us today.
In Luke 1:14-18 we see their life change begin when the Lord calls the first disciples, and a first example of the multiplication plan that he lived out through the rest of his ministry. As Jesus was going, he crossed paths with Simon and Andrew. He called them out of their fishing trade and into faith. We see they immediately dropped their old life and followed Him. In following Jesus, they were trained by the master at being a disciple and how to multiply disciples.
Throughout the Gospels we see this strategy for believers in making disciples or followers of Christ. Through years of ministry these are a few truths I’ve gleaned in multiplying disciples of Jesus.
Just as Jesus did, so should we:
- Live life with one another – life is a tough teacher. Life gives the test and then the lesson. But, many times lessons in life are caught and taught. As we live life among other disciples they are able to see and share in what living in faith is like. An authentic life lived before them strengthens the reality that the Christian life is possible.
- Lift truth out of the Word – reading Scripture and investigating truth together is crucial. The act of being a student with a student is a great way of training in truth that is pertinent to following the Savior. There are amazing books in the Bible to read through together: the book of John, books of Timothy, Proverbs, etc.
- Listen to struggles in life – it is inevitable that difficulties will arise as life is lived out with one another. As they occur, be sure to listen and talk through them. You don’t always have to have the answers, but you can point to where the answers can be found. It’s important that we teach how to struggle well and live obediently in the difficulties of life.
- Lead them to multiply others – as you progress and growth is seen, encourage your disciple to begin to lead others in living for Christ. Everyone needs a healthy flow of truth received but also shared. If we aren’t being a conduit of grace to others we will become stale in faith ourselves.
We have been commanded to make disciples, therefore making disciples of Jesus is to be the top priority of our Christian life.