Archive for May, 2016


How do we know when we are effective at making disciples? We have read the great commission when Jesus is saying to make disciples, but how do we measure if we are effective in doing it?  What if we have been ineffective in our disciple making but didn’t know it or worse what if we didn’t care. Some people say “practice makes perfect” but the truth is perfect practice makes perfect. In other words, we could be doing more harm with the wrong practice and thinking one day it will magically be perfect. In the greek, disciple means “a learner”. So of course Christians have been called to not make disciples of themselves, but of Christ. I believe making disciples can be learning the way Jesus made disciples. How did Jesus do it effectively? While there is much to expound on, let’s look at just 3 simple effective ways Jesus did it and then how to measure the effectiveness:


1. Jesus chose His disciples first.  (John 15:16)

16.You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.

Jesus didn’t just create a platform to make disciples come to Him, He often went looking for them and found them right where they were at. Having a ministry platform is not wrong but the intimacy of discipleship that Jesus often chose was not from a platform but finding people first in every day life. This may be difficult for some Christians to understand in our society, because we have a tendency to see pastors, teachers, evangelists or anyone with a platform naturally have people who follow their ministry closely without intimately being invited. The role of these ministers is to equip the saints to do the work of the ministry. Is it possible in order to be effective like Jesus, we as believers are responsible for finding and choosing disciples in every day life?                                                                                            

2. Jesus chose to make his disciples friends, not servants. (John 15:13-15)

13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants,for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.

Jesus spent time with His disciples living among them. Sure, He had time of mountain top seclusion with His Father, but the majority of the time we read of Jesus eating, sleeping and talking with His disciples. Again this is difficult in today’s society because social media has given the illusion that we have a lot of friends. Someone once said, “having a ton of friends on social media is like having a ton of Monopoly money. It makes you feel good to have so much, but there is no real value.” Many people are selling something on social media and people are often viewed as servants in their media game, not true friends.

3. Jesus made disciples to become, not just spiritual sons, but spiritual fathers. (John 15:12)

12 This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you

I believe the revelation of sonship is being restored in the church. The idea that God didn’t call you to be a slave of law but to be a son and daughter is being preached all over the world. It is possible many of us have never seen a healthy earthly father and it is possible that we have never seen a healthy spiritual father in the Body of Christ. I define a healthy spiritual father like Jesus, a disciple maker who wants his children (disciples) to do greater things than him. (John 14:12). Paul said in 1 Corinthians 4, “For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel.” This idea of countless guides still applies today. How many podcasts, books and teachings are available for believers for a small fee? You can alway purchase a mentor but how many spiritual fathers (and mothers) are there in the church? We can be effective by making healthy disciples when we ourselves become spiritual fathers to them. Spiritual fathers give resources at their own expense to the children they value.

I am currently on a journey of being a spiritual father as well. I know of only a hand full of people that I have layed my life down for and invested years of time and money into and gratefully they turned around and did the same for others. Maybe you never had a spiritual father but I can tell you by the grace of God you can become a healthy spiritual father. Maybe you went to a church and because there were no spiritual fathers in the building, it was just spiritual kids hurting other kids. You can choose to repeat and add to the cycle you have witnessed by judging the church (His bride), or not go to church, or you can stand up and be a spiritual father or mother and make disciples. I warn you now, spiritual children (disciples) will cost you a lot of pain. They say hurtful things and possibly even deny knowing you (see Peter and Jesus). Jesus did everything right to make disciples and there were still some that denied him. The good news is when you have layed down your life and painfully resourced them to do things that are greater than you and then they become spiritual fathers and mothers to other sons and daughters, that is when you know you were effective in making disciples. My encouragement to everyone would be start with investing and laying your life down for one disciple today. Start by choosing them, by becoming their friend (spend time with them), lead them to be born again (make them a son or daughter in the kingdom), then invest resources in them to do greater things than you. When we see them repeating this process, then we know we are effective in making disciples.

For a free teaching podcast on this topic visit