In the Great Commission, (which is essentially the marching orders for every Christian), the Lord called His people to make disciples, not mere converts. Any substitution for leading others to a life of following Jesus is not true discipleship. If we settle for a vision of simply getting more church members, salvation decisions, or mere Christian consumers – we will inevitably fall short.
Disciples Over Converts
It is easy to go through the motions of Christianity. Go to church sometimes, give when it’s convenient, and maybe serve by doing something comfortable for you once or twice. It’s no wonder Christians find themselves stuck not knowing how to get more out of their faith. They were led through a conversion process that left them high and dry without being guided through an intentional discipleship process.
Without discipleship, Christians simply get lost. There’s little to no consistency with the church, Bible study, prayer, and likely everything else in the faith. The category of Christianity to the mere convert can conveniently become a self-serving monument to their wants and needs. Many disciple-less Christians may have never been baptized into the faith, or if they had it was disingenuous or unbiblically based. There’s little knowledge or care for God or His commandments, His Kingdom, and certainly little priority to share Him with others.
Fortunately, God promises He will never leave or forsake us. We will not be left orphaned, even if those who lead us to Christ cannot keep guiding us through the Christian life. Below is an effective action plan if you find yourself under-discipled or are working with someone new to the faith.
1. Consistency is important to set, as you set regular meetings together in order to converse with about the faith working itself out in their life.
2. Model confession of sin, heartfelt repentance and admission of need for Christ, praying out to God for forgiveness and grace.
3. Practice an introductory development of spiritual disciplines (prayer, Bible-reading, fasting, etc.)
4. Lead them to shadow you in serving others, giving, evangelizing, and other fundamentals of the Christian walk.
“And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.“
Luke 14:27 NIV
Once there is a decision made to disciple, you will inevitably ask or be asked “what should we study?” Below are a couple of great options that are intended to help you answer that very question.
- Bible study through the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) or consider the book of Romans.
- Big picture Bible overview Genesis to Revelation, find resources online like Bible Project.
- Book study “Spiritual Discipleship” by Sanders (see below).
A Disciple Track
Follow this guided study plan designed for one-on-one for 21 weeks based on Sanders’ book, “Spiritual Discipleship”.
- Becoming a more committed follower of Christ
- Baptism and church membership
- Developing more consistent spiritual disciplines