How to be a firestarter
It’s not about the size of the fire burning in your life, but instead about the number of fires you start around you.
Discipleship is close to my heart. I’ve been involved in disciple-making for more than 15 years. When we invite others into a journey of growth and discovery, we make room for God to reveal Himself to them. The world is some places is over-evangelized and under-discipled. In an environment of discipleship, you empower those around you to love Jesus, love their neighbour and love the world well. It’s a rewarding relational journey.
There are things that great disciple-makers do that grow the people they are discipling faster and in a more profound way than those who don’t have the wisdom of making disciples. Great disciple-makers, like great carpenters or leaders, understand the art of discipleship.
So what is this command Jesus gave in Matthew 28?
Here are a few bite-sized ideas of what we think discipleship is:
- Helping people to follow Jesus well, according to what the Bible teaches us.
- Creating a pattern in someone’s life of daily obedience to the teachings of Jesus.
- Being in an honest relationship with someone who trusts you to speak biblical truth to them, assisting them to walk out of sinful patterns and into a holy lifestyle that honours God.
- Seeing the God-potential in someone and calling this out, holding it always in front of that person until they believe it.
- Equipping someone by imparting the gifts of the Holy Spirit and enabling them to walk into a life of effective ministry.
In Matthew 28 Jesus commissions the disciples (and we are also disciples) to go into all nations (i.e. out of the church building) to find those who are not like us (speaking of other nations) and make disciples of them.
There is a difference between teaching someone about God versus helping (discipling) that person to discover and obey the teachings of Christ for themselves.
The first is a cerebral task – it is knowledge-based. The prevailing thought that drives this is that people need to know. The second and more accurate application of this great commission in Christianity is raising obedient Christ followers.
People need to live out a changed lifestyle. This happens from the inside, out. It took Jesus three years to reveal himself to His disciples. It will most likely take us the same time or longer as we mentor those we are discipling into maturity in Christ (see Hebrews 6:1).
If you are interested in becoming a firestarter or have any questions or comments, please get in touch.