by Woodie J. Stevens
You love God. You serve Him. You have plenty of demands, pressure, and stress in your life. Yet, you are doing the best you can to fulfill your calling and pursue the mission. You have a passion to obey the commands of Jesus. Making Christlike disciples through your life is essential to you.
In order to effectively teach, model, and help those you invest in to be fully devoted disciples of Jesus, four disciplines characterizing productive disciplemakers are needed:
1. Productive disciplemakers are characterized as people of prayer. I would ask, “Who wins the first moment of your day?” The moment your mind awakes, to where is it drawn? For the alcoholic, the first thought is “Where can I find my next drink?” For the disciple, the first thought is, “Where can I find Jesus?”
Effective disciplemakers have learned the transforming power of spending time with Jesus every day. Entering into the presence of Jesus, listening, learning, and obeying is vital to your walk. You cannot effectively reproduce a praying disciplemaker if you yourself are not a person of prayer.
2. Effective disciplemakers engage in the Living Word of God every day. Daily scripture reading provides inspiration, wisdom, guidance, empowerment, and gratitude for God’s unfailing love and unending faithfulness. We can’t give away what we do not have. When your heart is authentically filled with overflowing praise, gratitude, and love you have a wonderful resource to share with those you are molding for Christ’s sake. Teach each one you invest in the habit of the daily discipline of hiding God’s Word in your heart.
3. The empowerment of theHoly Spirit is not optional for disciplemakers. Jesus reminds us that if we are willing “to give good gifts to our children, how much more will your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him” (Luke 11:13). The fruit of His Word flowing through your life in the enablement of the Holy Spirit results in deep confidence, joy, and peace as you pursue the mission. Your influence in the lives of others is directly related to your dependence upon God’s Holy Spirit filling as you serve.
4. Intentional relational discipleship is a quality that good disciplemakers develop and pursue in their obedience to the mission. To make a disciple requires an on-purpose investment in people's lives. Christlike disciples don’t just happen. Jesus said you must go, you must make, you must baptize, you much teach. That is hard to do from a pulpit. Disciples are best made face to face in an intentionally systematic, sustainable discipleship structure that fulfills the mission.
Go make disciples.
Woodie J. Stevens is the SDMI Global Director.
For the PDF version of this article, click here: Four Essentials for Growing Christlike Disciples
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