As I have been doing more thinking and writing on the topic of discipleship, I am becoming more and more convinced that discipleship and mission go hand in hand.  You can read a great post here, about their relationship.

I am also wondering that maybe part of the reason we don’t make disciples is because we aren’t on mission?

As mentioned in my last few posts, a great analogy that captures the heart of discipleship is that of an apprenticeship.  A close walking along side someone as they teach, train and model what it takes to do what they do.  In the pages of scripture we see Jesus doing exactly that with his disciples.  And by in large, it doesn’t happen in a classroom setting.  There are times of teaching where information gets based along, but most of the learning is hands on learning.  In a sense, discipleship happens while mission is also happening.  They are not separate from each other.

So, I guess the next question we have to ask ourselves is, where am I reaching out?  In reading Luke 6v12-19 we see that Jesus has a three-dimensional approach to his ministry. Simply put, UP – IN – OUT.

12 One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. 13 When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles: 14 Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, 15Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, 16Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
17 He went down with them and stood on a level place. A large crowd of his disciples was there and a great number of people from all over Judea, from Jerusalem, and from the coastal region around Tyre and Sidon, 18 who had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. Those troubled by impure spirits were cured, 19 and the people all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him and healing them all.

In this story we see Jesus doing three things:
1. Connecting with His Father in prayer through the night.  (UP)
2. Calling His disciples to Himself to be with Him. (IN)
3. Coming down off the mountain and tending to the crowds. (OUT)

Now, notice what it says in v17, “He went down with them…” And what happens next? Outreach.  Mission.  Jesus takes his disciples to be with Him ‘in action.’  To make disciples without being on mission, or to be on mission with out intentionally making disciples falls short of the model that Jesus sets before us.

So again, I pose the question, where are you reaching out?  And then two, who are you taking with you?



2 Responses to “Why We Don’t Make Disciples (Part 3)”

  1. Linda

    Some thoughts on discipleship. These days I am humbling myself and praying, seeking God’s face and turning from my sin with members of my church. This is a corporate plea to God as the body of Christ rather than an individual action alone. It is a complete surrendering to God as a group of believers and a unified practice. I am experiencing discipleship as an action of coming together as a group in seeking God’s presence not as a program. So, to answer your question about what am I doing about discipleship: ‘I am part of a body of believer’s who are corporately praying on their knee’s seeking the Lord’s presence,” I am learning much as we study scripture and pray together as we read the Old Testament. There was a respect and a healthy fear of God as he appeared before them, protected them and taught them. He clearly was revered as they bowed in humility. I had never considered the fact that when I come into His presence I am on Holy ground.

    In addition our home is now a place for believers to meet together weekly and support one another as we study and discuss how the scriptures are affecting our motivation and actions. Since this is a new way for me, I sense the next chapter in my spiritual journey is being played out. In answer to your question about who is going with me…. My spouse, my elderly parents, my daughter with Down Syndrome and the two couples that fellowship with us apart from the larger body. Not only is the church I attend desperately seeking God as a corporate body but we are practicing humility and seeking God in Sunday School class, in special prayer meetings and in small home groups. As we actively seek Him I wait to see His presence in the body and how that shapes us.


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