Every Christian is a disciple-maker, according to Matthew 28:18-20.
Myth: Disciple-maker is a mature Christian who has "arrived" at a certain level of maturity and is only then equipped and called to teach others.
Truth: If you help someone else bear fruit, you're their disciple-maker. We are all to help each other bear fruit. Disciple-making isn't a linear path or top-down approach where the more mature have "arrived" and teach others without being taught. It's an ongoing process, like a cycle, where we're all discipling each other.
Have you ever said, "I'm not growing at that church?" Here's two possible reasons:
- You haven't formed relationships. However, if all Christians are disciple-makers, its the responsibility of all Christians to be proactive in creating relationships to help others bear fruit.
- "I'm not intellectually stimulated." Even if you were, that doesn't guarantee growth. Christian maturity is not in how much you know but in how much you apply.
Jesus says, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:31-32).
You're only as mature as the knowledge you apply. Of course, this implies that you must continue to grow in some knowledge. But that knowledge is only as good as its application.
If we were to imagine a disciple-making movement, a community of 100% involvement, what elements would be necessary?
- Relationships: Risk and invite relationships that are intimate enough to challenge you and to allow you to challenge others. Bear your soul.
- The Right Questions: Not all relationships bear spiritual fruit. We need to be intentional, asking each other about our spiritual lives.
If you are a Christian, the church doesn't exist to serve you. Instead, you are the church and you exist to serve others. We imitate Christ who said, "For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45).