Jesus said to "go and make disciples" (Matt. 28:19). Yet it seems we lack intentional discipleship within the modern church. How can the church more faithfully make disciples?
Making disciples begins the moment a person trusts the gospel message. At this moment we enter into a relationship with this new brother or sister in the Lord that will allow for intentional, patient, long-term instruction in Christian living.
Instead of leaving the work of disciple-making to a church program, every believer has a responsibility to model Christ before those new in the faith. It is our privilege to give personal attention to the new believer’s growth in prayer, to model the knowledge of and obedience to the Word of God and the use of spiritual gifts, as well as share our faith and serve others.
While using a published study guide or curricula might help the discipleship process, it is no substitute for allowing a new believer to see how you handle pleasure, pain, loss, or success. We can model how a Christ-follower responds to the joys and stresses of marriage, parenting, friendships, vocation, and relationships with church members. They can watch our reading, eating, health choices, and use of leisure. As we “make disciples,” we show the other person how to yield to Christ’s Lordship in all areas of life, not only in spiritual disciplines. No class or program can replace years of walking with another person, day in and day out.