A lot of folks think making disciples is a complicated and difficult task. One that requires a lot of training and time. But that is not true. Training is helpful, but you don’t have to have a PHD in Biblical Studies to start making disciples. Jesus didn’t set it up that way. Instead Jesus gave us an easy to follow three-step method to making disciples. What are those steps?
(1) We are to go
In verse 19 of Matthew 28, Jesus says,
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations,” (Mt 28:19a)
We aren’t to sit stagnant. We aren’t to just let folks come to us. Instead we are to go. We are to go and find folks to tell the good news.
When Jesus tells us to go, He doesn’t just mean for us to go on a mission trip, or go and be a missionary in another country. Those things are necessary and we should do them, but that is not all of what Jesus means when He tells us to go. Instead He means that we are to make disciples as we are going about our day. So whether we are living Africa, China, or Decatur, we are to make disciples, as we are going about our day.
So the first thing Jesus tells us that we are to do is — Go — to go to our communities and the world with the intention of spreading the gospel and making disciples.
(2) We are to Baptize those who believe the gospel
Look what Jesus says in the remainder of verse 19,
“baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” (Mt 28:19a)
I believe Jesus’ second step to making disciples give us hope, because as we are going, as we are sharing the gospel with others in our life, as we take trips to other countries, people will believe the message we are sharing with them.
When they do that — when they believe — Jesus tells us we are to baptize them.
Now, you have to know that Jesus doesn’t tell us to do that because baptism saves them. Instead, He tells us to baptize because Baptism shows a person’s commitment to God. It shows that they are aligning themselves with Jesus. We don’t baptize folks in order to save them, or to complete the salvation process.
We baptize people because it is an outward expression of an inward reality.
So that is the second thing we are to do — Baptize those who believe the gospel.
(3) We are to teach those who believe the gospel to obey all God’s has commanded in His Word
Look at the beginning of verse 20,
“teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”” (Mt 28:20a)
Jesus’ command doesn’t just apply to Pastors. It applies to every disciple, all believers are to teach others to obey all God has commanded in His Word.
Teaching people God’s Word might occur in a formal setting like a church service or a Bible study, or it might occur in some other way. The point being you don’t have to be an official teacher to teach.
You can teach in a number of ways:
- Most of us have families that we can teach. Again, that doesn’t mean we have to prepare a formal Bible Study. All we really need to do is sit down and read the Bible together, or share what God is teaching us, or share what we read in God’s Word that morning.
- Participate in a men’s Bible study. My church has one every Friday morning. We meet at IHOP and discuss one chapter in God’s Word.
- Participate in a Women’s group. We also have a Bible study for women similar to the men’s breakfast, but it is more missions focused. They do missions work in the community.
- Disciple new believers. This can be done by getting together with a new believer and answering their questions about God’s Word.
- Joining in on the discussion in Sunday School class, Community Groups, or Bible study.
- Everyday conversations. Talking to people throughout your day about God’s Word and what you have learned is another good way to make disciples.
As you can see there are a number of ways we can teach and help others grow into fully mature disciples of Jesus, we just need to do it.
So that is the last thing we are to do — teach others to obey all Jesus has commanded.
Question for Reflection
- What part of making disciples do you find to be the hardest?
Post adapted from the sermon: Disciples Make Disciples