The American church is dying, not from lack of effective evangelism, nor from lack of resources, but from lack of effective discipleship.”  - Michael Ramsden, European Director of Ravi Zacharias Ministries.

 How We Define Discipleship:

A disciple is someone who has believed the message of the gospel, responded to the call of God in repentant faith and becoming born again, been baptized in water by immersion and by the Holyghost. And through the power of the Holy Spirit, is seeking to understand and obey all that Jesus taught his first disciples.

(Matt 28:19)

 A disciple is one who knows the truth (John 8:31-32). A disciple is one who loves Jesus (John 14:15) and the disciples of Jesus (John 13:35). A disciple is one who obeys Jesus' commands and words (John 14:23). A disciple is one who bears much lasting fruit for Jesus (John 15:8).

 A disciple of Jesus looks like Jesus! They bear or reflect a moral and spiritual likeness.

 Making a disciple requires all the three steps mentioned in the great commission: (1) winning them to Christ, (2) bringing them into the church or body of believers and (3) teaching them to live the way Jesus lived by doing the commands of Christ. Every disciple-making, church planting strategy must be based on these three steps. If we focus on only one of the three, we will fail to make disciples.

Why Do We Make Disciples?

We make disciples for three reasons:

Because Jesus commanded us to make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20).

Because we will reproduce what we are (Genesis 1:11, 20-25, 28).

Because it is the only way we can win our generation to Christ (Matthew 24:14).

Making disciples is one of the greatest privileges we have as children of God. When God created Adam, He gave him the commandment, ability, desire, and blessing to reproduce. Reproduction is the first thing God blessed

"God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’" (Genesis 1:27-28)

 This was God's first blessing on man and therefore reflects one of God's highest purposes for man. It was God's purpose from the beginning that man should be fruitful and increasing in all that he did.

The Law of Reproduction states that God’s purposes in creating man are most fully realized and expressed through the process of reproduction.

There are three parts to this law:

1.  God reproduced Himself: “Let Us make man in our image, according to our likeness…” (Genesis 1:26).

2. God’s first commandment to man was that man should “be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it…” (Genesis 1:27). By reproducing himself, the man was also reproducing God’s image and likeness in his children.

3. The command to reproduce was directly linked to God’s blessing (Genesis 1:28) and God’s purpose that the man should subdue the earth and rule over all living things (Genesis 1:26-28). This is because it is through reproduction and fruitfulness that man has dominion (or power) over all living things. Fruitfulness is a key to spiritual power!

God desires that all of His children be fruitful in all things, especially as we share our faith with those who are lost and seek to bring them into a growing personal relationship with Him. 

 Four Things Jesus Did

Jesus made disciples by doing four simple things (Matthew 10). While He continued to preach to the multitudes, He gave more and more time to these four things and increasingly. He moved from a public speaking ministry, to the multitudes, to a coaching and training ministry which focused on the spiritual growth and preparation of His disciples.

Jesus called His disciples (Matthew 10:1).

There is a major difference between “calling” a disciple and “attracting” members and disgruntled disobedient people who have left other churches. When you attract someone. You have to appeal to what they want instead of calling them to what God wants for them.

You do not attract disciples, you call them. This calling involves a personal and individual selection as opposed to a universal appeal made to many people. Jesus did not call everyone to be His disciple and even turned some away (Matthew 13:10-17; 19:16-26; Mark 10:17-27; Luke 10:25-30; 18:18-27).

 It is good to desire that all should be saved (2 Peter 3:9); but the sad reality is that most will not be (Matthew 7:13-14). Here at CTHIM church we want to invest more time into making disciples than into appealing to crowds. As we have seen, the multiplication of disciples will produce a greater number of mature people. Jesus carefully selected his disciples and invested most of His time in them.

Jesus empowered His disciples (Matthew 10:1).

Whom God calls, He enables. Jesus did not call His disciples to “follow Him” and then leave them powerless to do it themselves. Too many of the people in our churches lack the power to live transformed lives because they have never been properly discipled. They have head knowledge but lack in applications. Jesus gave us the power and authority to complete the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20)

In Matthew 28:18-19 Jesus said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations.” In Matthew 10:1 Jesus gave His disciples authority over every sickness and over demons. We are not stronger than demons; we have authority over them. The people in our churches must know how to use the authority Jesus has given to them. They can only learn this as they are discipled and trained.

 Jesus instructed His disciples (Matthew 10:5).

Jesus personally trained or instructed His disciples. Instruction differs from general teaching in that it requires two things: (1) the impartation (or giving) of knowledge and specific commands through teaching (Matthew 10:5-15), and (2) the development of skills and behavior through mentoring (Luke 9:10). This is what discipleship is: teaching and mentoring, learning and doing, commanding and obeying with accountability.

Coaching or Mentoring

Coaching is helping an individual or team succeed. In ministry, a coach is an experienced, objective guide who is committed to an on-going relationship that results in the success of those he is coaching.

Jesus sent His disciples (Matthew 10:5) 

After calling, empowering, and instructing them, Jesus sent His disciples out to do ministry. He released them to do what He was doing. Traditional church structures encourage pastors to focus on collecting more and more people. The larger the collection the more successful the pastor is considered to be. Jesus did not collect people. He called and sent them. The true success of our ministry is not how many people attend church services but how many people we equip and send out into ministry! Sending doesn’t mean they cannot attend your services. It means you have given them specific things to do to extend the kingdom of God.