Many claim that discipleship includes most everything we do in church. I would agree that this statement is true in many evangelical churches; anything that helps believers grow to become like Christ is part of the discipleship process. That being said, what would Jesus’ disciples have concluded to be the method they should use in obeying his command?
I am sure this wasn’t even a question to them, because there was only one common method in that day for making disciples. But if there had been other methods, there still would have been only one answer. Without question, they would have said that Jesus meant for them to make disciples of others just as he had made disciples of them. Jesus’ method is the only method they would have considered.
Secondly, let us question what modern-day method and procedure most effectively accomplishes the task of making disciples. When we make a financial investment, we undoubtedly want the mechanism that will give us the best return on an investment. We should evaluate our eternal impact in a similar way if we desire to have the greatest impact on people’s lives. We should actively be “redeeming the time” (Col. 4:5, KJV), “making the most of the opportunity,” practicing the method that will produce the greatest yield in discipleship.
Based on my thirty-five years of experience and the opinion of countless number of Christian experts, life-on-life discipleship remains the primary method used in our modern age that incorporates the discipleship methods of Jesus Christ. This discipleship method, when followed correctly, will more deeply develop a person’s spiritual transformation and growth in the shortest amount of time than any method known to man.
Thanks for responding Michael,
My thoughts came out of a chapter in my book so it doesn't reflect the complete picture. I agree with what you are sharing.
1) Through the local church by being used by God to lead sessions exposing the Bible to believers within;
2) Through the work place by taking advantage of what is allowed and participating in lunch-.time fellowship/Bible study sessions; and
3) From the home-front fellowshipping with nearby neighbors, working together, dinners, and barbecues, etc.
All of these fall under what I would term as lifestyle evangelism/discipleship. The disciples of Jesus walked with Him being discipled as well as being sent out door-to-door. This is the best way in my opinion. People don't want to only hear, they want to see! And that is what we should be doing.