Making Disciples is a difficult order to follow. Nevertheless, this is exact mandate given to every Christian. Unfortunately, these instructions have lost their weight in the comfort of solid church attendance. Lowell D. Streiker (2000) is quoted as saying that the church today is raising a whole generation of mules. They know how to sweat and to work hard, but they do not know how to reproduce themselves. John the beloved reminds us of the orders Jesus gave us when he said, "If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself (John 7:17, NASU).
Models of Discipleship
The Greek model:
The Greek model was teaching or the ability to gain information. We think of Socrates, Aristotle, Plato, and Alexander the Great as learned men; thinkers. The Greek model was more of an enlightenment, or information that pleased the mind.
The Hebrew model:
Jesus discipled according to the Hebrew model. He studied by the Greek Model but he taught by the Hebrew model. Simply said, the Hebrew model was on-the-job training. Jesus took his 12 disciples with him and they experienced things together.
The essentials to disciple-making is discipling must challenge people, discipling needs to be applied, and discipling needs to be shared.
Let us indulge the concept of discipleship or may I say, self-reproduction. In the Great Commission (Matthew 19), Jesus said that we were to make disciples, not converts. We are not just here to enlist people into the knowledge of Jesus. Rather we are to make disciples; to reproduce ourselves.
With this in mind, we must CORRECT our CHARACTER in the PROCESS. Otherwise, we may reproduce the wrong thing. In essence, imperfect people are charged to make others like them, while in the process of correcting personal and often internal character flaws.
When Jesus told his twelve men to "go and make disciples," not one of them stood there confused, wondering what He meant by that command. They each understood that Jesus meant for them to go and reproduce exactly what He had just done with them, in someone else! As a leader in the church, I am constantly aware of two commitments. First, I am to have a congregation that understands discipleship and second, I am responsible to equip the saints to do the work of the ministry. These are the two things, as a leader for which I am accountable. Growing churches have been able to successfully do both.
Spiritual Reproduction Is What Discipleship Is All About!
Do we take God's word and just read it and say, that was a profound statement or do we look at the word of God and apply it to our heart and life?
"If any man will do my will, then he will know whether my teaching is of God or not."
The sequence of events is clear. First, one must do God’s will, then he or she will know what God’s teachings are. Perhaps a lack of doing elicits some of the strange doctrines available today. Nonetheless, doing comes before understanding. We become Disciples of Christ as we begin to take God's word and do something about it.