Here’s the practical truth and wisdom of how Jesus made disciples…
Jesus concentrated on a few followers!
Robert Coleman in his book The Master Plan of Evangelism notes –
“One cannot transform a world except as individuals in the world are transformed, and individuals cannot be changed except as they are molded in the hands of the Master.”
Jesus didn’t spend the majority of His time with crowds of people – He spent most of His time with a few men and women.
Why did Jesus invest in such a small group of followers?
By focusing on the development of these few followers, He was able to pour more into them and equip them for the mission He was about to give them.
Jesus was deliberate. He proportioned His life to those whom He was discipling. He concentrated on the few. He devoted Himself to this small band of followers knowing that they would take His mission to others who would do the same thing.
Jesus literally staked His entire ministry and mission on these few men and women. As a result, it didn’t matter that the Jewish leaders rejected Him and did not receive Him as their Messiah because His mission was being carried forward by His followers. That was His strategy. He selected key individuals to carry on the mission.
Why wasn’t Jesus focused on the crowds?
Here’s the answer – Jesus was not trying to impress the crowds, He was ushering in His kingdom. This meant that He start with a few. Jesus could not possibly meet all the needs of the crowds. He couldn’t give them the personal care they needed. His only hope was to invest His life in a few who could then invest themselves in a few others – and so on and so on.
He concentrated His focus on those who were going to launch a movement of disciplemakers.
Today a lot of churches and leaders focus on reaching large crowds. Some gather for large outreach events and stadium crusades. There’s nothing wrong with this; however, that was not Jesus’ strategy. He focused on making disciples who would make disciples.
Jesus wasn’t just focused on preaching the message to crowds and moving on. He was investing His life in a few followers who would invest their lives in a few followers. He taught the crowds, but He focused on His disciples.
Since this was Jesus’ pattern of making disciples, certainly it should be our pattern too.
- How can you apply Jesus’ strategy in your existing friendships?
- Who can you influence to follow Jesus?
Here’s where you can decide if you really want to be a disciplemaker. Here’s where you can begin to be a part of the movement. You can share your grace story (how you experienced God’s grace) with your friends, classmates and coworkers. You can tell them how your life has been changed. You can invite them to join you in following Jesus.
How does a virus spread? From one person in contact with another person.
Christianity is a viral hope. As the gospel transforms your life, it then spreads and transforms the lives of those around you. But it has to be passed on. You cannot keep it to yourself.
- Who are your disciples?
- In whom are you investing your life, so that they will invest their lives in others?
Think seriously about this. Life is too short to put off these questions. We are part of Jesus’ disciplemaking movement! And you can sit on the sidelines and watch others make disciples, or you can join the movement.
You might think, “Isn’t that what the pastor is supposed to do?” He’s supposed to make disciples. I’m just supposed to show up and get all the benefits of what he’s studied this week.
NO! Every Christian is called to be a disciplemaker. Each follower of Jesus needs to follow Jesus’ method. He invested His life in others. He chose them to follow Him. He called them to follow Him.
We need to invest our lives in others. We need to call them to follow us as we follow Jesus. We need to help them do it – and then help them to help others to follow Jesus.
Invite someone you know personally to follow you as you follow Jesus. Who are you going to help to follow Jesus this week? When will you talk to them about what it means to follow Jesus?
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