Friday, June 09, 2017

How Do We Make Disciples? 5 Stages Every Christian Should Follow

A friend asked me earlier this week:

"How do we fulfill the Great Commission if we don't teach, instruct and persuade? What about Galatians when Paul told us to rebuke (he said more than rebuke) any who bring a different Gospel? Are we in danger of allowing the Gospel to be subverted if we are soft? I'm asking sincerely, without judgement because I struggle with this issue."

Here's my response: We can't make a disciple until that person is asking to follow Jesus. We don't force people to agree with us and call that disciple-making.

Stage 1: We demonstrate the love of Christ to people and model His character.

Stage 2: We answer them when this behavior begs the question: "What is the reason for the hope [and love] that you have within?"

Stage 3: We slowly introduce them to Jesus and pray for the Holy Spirit to make Himself [and Christ] known to those who are exhibiting hunger for the Bread of Life.

Stage 4: We collaborate with the Holy Spirit in the work that He - and only He - is doing in their hearts, minds and lives.

Stage 5: We teach those people to follow Jesus in their everyday life so that they can start to practice Stage 1 [see above].

If our emphasis is on informing people of another faith - or no faith at all - how "wrong" they are and how "right" we are, we are not obeying Jesus' commands to "go into all the world and preach the Good News of the Kingdom, teaching them to obey all that I have commanded...".

Because the Gospel is not about mere "information", it's about "transformation" and if we are not first transformed by the Gospel into people who love and live differently than those around us, then we'll never convince anyone that this Gospel has the power to transform them either.


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