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Jesus left His church with a revolutionary mandate: Make disciples. In Jesus’ day, everybody knew what that meant and how to do it. Disciples literally followed their rabbis everywhere they went. They walked in the dust kicked up
by their rabbi’s sandals, spoke like them and did what they did. There’s even a famous story about a disciple who took it too far, hiding under his rabbi’s bed so he could learn how to “know” his wife in the biblical sense. TMI, right? When someone set out to follow a rabbi, their family sent them out with this blessing, “May you be covered in the dust of your rabbi”. I like that.
But a question remains, “Ummmm, exactly how do we do that in our day?” We can’t follow our pastors around 24/7. Questions like this should keep us up at night:
God: Go and make disciples.
You: But how do we do that, Lord? It’s 12:30am, can I
go to sleep now?
God: A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master.
You: Am I covered in your dust, Jesus? Do the lives of the people in my small group or ministry resemble you? Please Lord, it’s 1:30 am and I have an early morning.
Eventually you nod off, the buzzer yanks you out of a dream and the morning comes way too soon. You roll out of bed, wipe the sleep from your eyes, and recount the night. It hasn’t helped your appearance, but a night of prayerful rumination on the one thing Jesus calls us to do is better than binging on Netflix when you can’t sleep, because, “…disciples are the only thing that Jesus cares about, and its the only number that Jesus is counting. Not our attendance or budget or buildings.” Jesus also had sleepless nights and early mornings.
In our day, the closest equivalent to disciple making is apprenticeship. Think of the business woman who gleans her leadership skills from a seasoned CFO or the craftsman who apprentices under a Master Craftsman. On a daily basis, disciple making is played out in board rooms and job sites everywhere. In fact, this model for making disciples seems to be happening everywhere but the church. That should keep is all up at night, because disciple making is the one thing Jesus has called us to do. Make disciples—there is no plan B for His church.
This guide has been written to help us recover a few of the forgotten ways of making disciples. Think of it as a how-to manual meant to complement the great content we send in our newsletter and podcasts.
Grab a cup of coffee, read each section, reflect on what God is saying to you and then do something about it. Each chapter can be read in one sitting, but the applications will require more time. You are one decision and four weeks away from multiplying disciples in your church.
Making Much of Jesus with you!