Making Disciples Like Jesus
—From The Keystone Project Training Manual by Richard Greene
Jesus made disciples by doing four simple things (see Matthew 10). While He continued to preach to the multitudes, He gave more and more time to these four things and increasingly moved from a public speaking ministry to preparing His disciples for their own ministry.
1. Jesus called His disciples (Matthew 10:1).
There is a major difference between “calling” a disciple and “attracting” new people. When I attract someone I have to appeal to what they want instead of calling them to what God wants. 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). Do not neglect the multitudes, but invest more time into making disciples than appealing to crowds and you will see more of the multitudes saved. As we have seen, the multiplication of disciples will produce a greater number of people preaching and hearing the gospel. Jesus carefully selected (called) His disciples and invested most of His time in them.
2. Jesus empowered His disciples (Matthew 10:1).
Whom God calls, He enables. The power Jesus gave His disciples was authority. In Matthew 28:18-19 Jesus said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” In Matthew 10:1, Jesus gave His disciples authority over every sickness and over demons. We are not stronger than demons, but we have authority over them. Disciples must know how to use the authority Jesus has given to them. They can only learn this as they are discipled and trained.
3. Jesus instructed His disciples (Matthew 10:5).
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.
4. 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 your ministry is not how many people attend your church services but how many people you have sent out into ministry!
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The Keystone Project is a global missions network of churches and leaders committed to the fulfillment of the Great Commission in this generation.