Four Steps to an Intentional Disciple-making Plan.
The Apostle Paul said, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1)
Disciple-making like Jesus doesn’t just happen. Paul learned it from Jesus. He then told the people in his sphere of influence to imitate him. And you and I are told to live lives worthy of imitation.
Is your life worth imitating? I remember someone saying, “You will not be a perfect example, but you will be a living example?” What you and I do actually matters.
Deuteronomy 6:-4-9 lays out an intentional plan for disciple-making in the family.
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
First, love God with all your heart, soul, and might. You have to be all in. You have to have a relationship with God. You have to desire to be an imitator of Jesus.
Second, put the commands of God in your heart. You have to crave the word of God. You need to start reading the Bible. I would suggest systematically reading through the Bible. Start with the beginning in Genesis chapters one through eleven. Then, skip over to the New Testament and start in the gospel of Matthew. Read through the whole New Testament ending with the book of Revelation. Do this three times. And then start reading the Bible though from front to back. (check out this journal)
Third, teach your children when you sit in your house, when you drive around, when you put them to bed, and when you get up in the morning. Basically, all the time, as you go about your day.
I like the way one teacher broke this down and referred to intentionally training children in the ‘organic’ time and the ‘organized’ time of life. The organic time is as you drive around and as you hangout and do stuff together. The organized time is through daily devotions when you wake up and when you go to bed, or even around the dinner table.
What do you teach?
You teach everything the Lord has commended. You teach out of the overflow of what you are learning. What you receive from the word of God you pass on to others.
This takes intentionality. I’m reminded often that proper preparation prevents poor performance. Look at Deuteronomy 6:4-9 again. First, love God passionately. Then, put His word in your heart. You cannot give what you do not have. It starts with you and the overflow will happen. You will be able to teach your children when they wake up, eat around the dinner table, drive around, and go to bed.
Fourth, be creative. Put reminders all over the place, they help us learn. And don’t be afraid to say the same things over and over again. Recently I put together a list of quotable quotes my Dad said to us growing up. Maybe it will help you intentionally create a discipling culture in your home. Here is my top ten list (there are many more):
Be intentional. Do not leave disciple-making in the home to chance. Have a plan. Work your plan. Do not give up. It will be the hardest thing you do. You will experience spiritual battles because you’re in a war for the hearts of your children. But, you have every resource for victory available to you.
We offer a plan for you. Check out our Life Plan for every family and local church. Check out the tools we have created for you on our website. Let us know how we can help you. Send us a message.
May you be intentional.