How to Train Disciple-Makers | The Selection Process
One of the first Bible verses my Dad taught me was Matthew 4:19, “Come follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” I thought this meant, "Come follow Daddy..." ha. This became a life verse for me. In a church culture where it seems disciple-making is a lost art I go back to this verse to see ‘how’ Jesus trained disciple-makers.
So many of us have been taught the Bible. We have studied the Bible for years on Sunday morning, in Bible studies, and even in the quite of our own home. Yet, we do not know how to make a disciple like Jesus. Inviting someone to church is awesome and part of the process, but I want to draw us back to the way of Jesus.
The first step gets lost most of the time, the selection process. How did Jesus select the people he was going to spend over half of his time with? We must get this right friends.
Let’s back up a bit and look at Luke 6:12, “…Jesus went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God.” Also, in John 5:30 Jesus says he only does what his Father tells him to do. Jesus went out to pray and ask his Father who he should select to be part of his discipleship group. Then, he went out and selected his disciples just as the Father commanded him. What a powerful act of obedience.
Who is on your prayer list? Who is God leading you to select to intentionally invest your life into and train to be a disciple-maker? Do you have a list?
Once you have your short list let’s look at ‘how’ Jesus made the invite. This is crucial. He went to each person and gave an invitation and a challenge with a vision for what could be and should be. It was short and sweet.
Jesus said, “Come follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” Let’s break this down.
What a powerful invitation, “come.” He invited people into His daily life. This implies the person he invited has to stop doing something in order to start a new relationship with Jesus. This also implies Jesus is going to make time to invite the person into his life. Jesus is giving access to his life. Disciple-making requires ACCESS.
Jesus is challenging the person to go where he goes and do as he does. This is a commitment. It is a challenge to do as Jesus does, to learn from Jesus, to live like Jesus and to pass on to others what Jesus is teaching.
This is vision with a plan. Make them implies Jesus was able to train them, lead them, transform them into something greater. This is a plan for growth and real life change.
“Fishers of Men.”
This is the vision of what could be and should be. Jesus was talking to fishermen here. These guys knew the time and intensity it takes to become an expert fisherman. This was no small ask. This was huge. They were going to have to leave everything and follow Jesus. This was a new and higher calling.
Do you have a selection process to your plan to train disciple-makers? What do you learn from Jesus through this powerful verse, “Come follow me and I will make you fishers of men.”?
Are you willing to just take whoever wants to hang out with you?
Are you going to be like Jesus and listen to the Father and then invite who He tells you to invite into a closed small group of gender specific people to invest your precious time into daily?
Why do we not follow the model of Jesus more today? What stops you from doing what Jesus did?
Start a short list and pray over the names God gives you for a week or two. If you have children you already have one group. Your family is your highest priority. Remember, every man is the pastor of his home.
One more thought, don't forget some of the people you invite into your group may say no. Even Jesus was rejected. Don't let this stop you. Keep pursuing your assignment. All of us are commanded to go and make disciples. God will help you.
Next I will write about the disciple making plan. Once you make the invite and have your small group of men to invest into what will be your plan? Stay tuned.
VDM is passionate about training faithful men and women to be disciple-makers in their home and circle of influence.