Why Make Disciples?
I started disciple-making when I first handled a small group of college students on April 2008. These young men came from different schools and backgrounds and have different personalities. Now, I’m handling a new set of disciples (It’s a reality that people come and go and I have to accept that fact). And I find great joy and satisfaction in mentoring them.
So why make disciples? Let me answer you with a passage in the Bible. Matthew 28:18-20, more known as the Great Commission, says,
18Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
Three Reasons for Making Disciples
In the passage above, we can find at least three reasons for disciple-making:
1. It is a command of Jesus to every Christian (v.19). We are given the go signal to reach people through evangelism, ushering them to a personal relationship with Christ. But we do not stop in making converts for Him. We follow-up on these newly-founded people and lead them to Christlikeness. This is the heart of disciple-making.
But how do we help these people conform to the likeness of Jesus? Verse 20a gives us the answer: We are to teach these new believers the principles found in the Bible and the obedience of it. We do not teach our own ideologies or principles but of Christ’s.
2. It comes with authority (v.18). The word “authority” means the power and right to do something. Now, all authority has been given to Jesus, the risen Messiah. Not just some. Not most. But ALL authority. So this means that no form of authority in heaven and on earth can question His. This should be our motivation for making disciples. It is humbling and unbelievable that Jesus, the Authority of authorities, will choose people like me and you, frail and always failing, and has given us the authority to spread His gospel message and to commit to the ministry of making disciples. This is nothing but a manifestation of His graciousness.
3. It comes with a promise (v.20). It’s not easy to share the Gospel to people, following them up, and teaching them the Bible. In my experience, I can say that making disciples is fulfilling and rewarding, but it comes with difficulties along the way. What keeps me going is the promise of Jesus that He will be with me. I am not alone in this endeavor. And this promise is also true for you.
Before I end this article, let me quote what LeRoy Eims wrote in his book The Lost Art of Disciple Making:
“Every believer in Jesus Christ deserves the opportunity of personal nurture and development. Every new believer is expected to achieve his or her potential for God. And most of them would if they had the opportunity, if someone would give them the help they need, if someone would give them the training they should have, and if someone would care enough to suffer a little, sacrifice a little, and pray a lot”1.
I hope this article helped you understand disciple-making. It’s my prayer that YOU commit to the ministry of making disciples.