“We practiced Discovery Bible Study groups in our training. Everyone understood the concepts and liked them. But when the school was over, only a few people started groups.” The trainer I was talking with seemed frustrated. “What am I doing wrong?” He wondered. As we train people in Disciple Making Movement (DMM) principles, we must communicate more than the method. Our mindset and lifestyle matters. In many ways, disciple-making is much more caught than taught. Are you living as a disciple-maker or just training people about it?
We need to ask ourselves this difficult question. I regularly check my life in this area. Am I a disciple-maker? Or only a trainer of disciple-makers?
To multiply disciple-makers it is vital that we live as disciple-makers ourselves. We need to make disciples like Jesus did.
Three Ways Jesus Lived With a Disciple-Making Mindset
Jesus both lived as a disciple-maker and trained his followers to make disciples. What do we see Him doing that we can also do? What was His mindset and lifestyle as related to disciple-making?
1. Jesus lived in the present moment.
This ability to stay present to what was happening around Him made Jesus a disciple-maker. He was not in a rush to get to the next meeting, or the next event. He noticed people around Him and was present to them. The Lord was aware of the crowd passing by with the woman whose boy had just died, for example. He noticed. He engaged (Luke 7:11-17).
2. Jesus was always ready to make disciples.
For the Master, disciple-making wasn’t something He did at allocated times. It happened in His daily life.
Matt 4:18 tells of how Jesus found two of His most important followers. It says, as He was walking by the sea…
“As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.” Matt 4:18
Imagine with me…Jesus is strolling along the ocean. Maybe He is relaxing or having a special quiet time with His Father there. Then He sees two brothers out fishing. He strikes up a conversation and calls them to follow Him.
It wasn’t like Jesus was in disciple-making mode, or this was his “outreach” time. No, he was simply walking along the beach.
How ready are we to make disciples at any time? To notice people we come across and call them to come and follow Jesus?
3. Jesus taught through real-life stories and demonstrations.
As we read through the gospels, we see that Jesus constantly responded to the things in His world. A storm came up, it was a chance to show God’s power over the wind and waves. A shortage of food? Good time to show everyone that God is more than able to provide for their physical as well as spiritual needs. A fruitless tree they walked past? Great time to teach a lesson about what God does with our lives when they are not producing the fruit He desires.
Do you have that mindset of a disciple-maker? Are you turning real-life situations into opportunities to train people around you in the ways and nature of God? Do you demonstrate His Kingdom in everyday life?
Trainees Need to See You Making Disciples (For Real)
There is great value in setting aside time for “outreach.” It’s good to practice simple church, or discovery groups, in your training. If that is all we do, it probably won’t give the results we are hoping for though.
We must also model an attitude and lifestyle of discipleship with those we train. They need to see you in the grocery store pausing to notice the cashier seems tired. Do they observe you offering a word of encouragement?
Your trainees must see you taking the time to pray for someone who is sick at the park when you are there with your kids. They need to see how you then share your testimony with that young mom who is unwell. How you then invite her to start a Discovery Bible study with you.
You need to encourage real life (not just classroom) application of disciple-making. Training is much more than teaching. We can teach the methods and principles, but that isn’t training. If we want to start DMMs, we need to see our trainees embrace a changed attitude and lifestyle. That means we too must show with this disciple-makers attitude as we go about our daily lives.
Would you pray this prayer with me?
Lord Jesus, help us to not just train people to make disciples. Help us to live as You did, as disciples who are ready all the time to bring Your Kingdom into the situations we encounter. Use us to make disciples today Lord. Let our lifestyles and our attitudes be like Yours! Everywhere You went, You spoke of the Kingdom of God. You demonstrated the Kingdom in signs and wonders and shared the good news of the Kingdom. Make us like You, Jesus. Amen.
God is raising up disciple-makers around the world today! You wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t believe God had more for you in His Kingdom. In a few weeks (on June 12th and 13th) I will be offering a live webinar on “How to Have a Massive Kingdom Impact.” Check it out here. Register today!
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