Today, this week’s theme of “essentials of disciple making” continues with part two of three from a chapter in the book Live Sent on disciple making. Thought it might be helpful as we pray for the Lord to sharpen us as parents to make disciples who make disciples as SENT kids. Hope it encourages you!
The third essential of making disciples I would suggest is release. I believe it is safe to say that for the most part, church culture has made discipleship more about retention than release. People are encouraged to stay in discipleship programs rather than being released to actually make disciples. Church gurus stress our need to grow the church, and what they mean is more people in gathering and in small groups.
I would suggest that Jesus wants to grow His church out there among the harvest, not in here among those already harvested. The disciple of Jesus grows most making disciples of Jesus with others, both already believers as well as not yet believing. The church grows through the harvest out there. . .
Discipling is more than some class once a week that we market and hope for high attendance. It is learning and living all week. It is eating together. It is praying together. It is having fun together. It is doing things of interest together. It is serving together. It is doing life together.
That is the model of discipling that we were given by Jesus, but to make it easier on ourselves, we boiled it down to a formula and program and said, “Go through this class, and you will be disciples.” That is about as rational as saying, “Take Quantum Physics and you can build a time machine.”
It’s not that classes aren’t important. It’s not that gathering together in classes or for collective worship is not important. It’s not that we don’t need to have Bible study together. These are important, but these can’t be the extent of our discipling. They are merely encouraging and equipping support.
On the first night our church family gathered as a core group, we shared four statements with those who gathered. One of them was this—we will not busy you with church activities, but rather we will equip and release you to be the church within your daily and weekly activities. This is a must if we hope for followers of Jesus to actually engage culture and see others begin to follow Jesus. . . .
Let’s surrender our programs and enter into this relational releasing process known as discipling and see what happens. Let’s live sent daily and be discipling. If we will, then we will be intentionally delivering a message, learning and living the ways of the Author, and giving other people the opportunity to see the Author in our ways. Then, they will learn and begin to live His ways too. And make disciples as they go. Then, those who believe will make disciples as they go. And so on.
That is making disciples.
[ and that should be the hope of our parenting. May we make disciples even among our kids and send them to do the same. ]