Jesus said, “Go and make disciples.” That wasn’t a suggestion. It wasn’t an, ‘if you feel like it’ or ‘have time’ or ‘have a lot of money’ kind of thing. Making disciples is the mission of every follower of Jesus. Because healthy disciples make more disciples.
More than anything discipleship is about investing my life in the life of another person and what could be more important than that? So I wanted to share 3 characteristics of a disciple maker that I hope will help you go even further in your discipleship of others.
3 characteristics of a disciple maker
1. Disciple makers depend on God – The Apostle Paul said that he planted and watered but it was God who brought the growth. Every disciple maker prays fervently because they realize they can’t change anyone. So, they pray and seek God for people they are investing in…their family, friends, co-workers, classmates. We need God to move if people’s lives are going to be truly changed.
2. Disciple makers are intentional – Jesus prayed all night before he chose his disciples. I think too often we are hap-hazard about discipleship. We think it will just happen. Sometimes it works that way but if Jesus needed to pray about who the Father wanted him to invest in, shouldn’t we? Then he went and had an intentional conversation with these guys and they agreed they wanted his investment. Discipleship requires intentionality on both sides. If the person you are investing in isn’t really interested or serious you might be wasting your time.
3. Disciple makers are realistic – The Bible says that we sow seed but it doesn’t all bear the same fruit. Sometimes people grow quickly and then fall away and other people look like nothing is happening at all – but on the inside, God is doing a deep invisible work that will bring fruit much later. My wife often says, “Real change takes about 2 years.” I don’t like to hear that but so often it is true. Jesus spent 3 years with his disciples and lost one along the way. If we aren’t realistic then we will get discouraged and wonder if God is using us at all. He is, if we are obedient to him.
Go, and make disciples!