Multiplying disciples is the healthiest, most effective way for a church, student ministry or campus ministry to grow. Acts 6.7 ESV says, “And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.”
It’s true that ministries can add people with slick marketing and timely gimmicks, but that kind of growth seldom lasts. Attracting people isn’t the same as growing a church or ministry. Ministries that reach their communities with the gospel and train believers to walk with God and multiply their lives will experience healthy, long-term growth.
Why is making disciples so important?
Here are four reasons:
1. Making disciples is the best way to raise up new leaders.
Jesus didn’t go out and find great leaders to join His cause. He identified people who were faithful, available, and teachable, and then He trained them and commissioned them into leadership (Mark 3.13-14 ESV). The Apostle Paul did the same thing. He would lead people to Christ and then disciple them. After they proved to be faithful, he would introduce them to leadership roles.
2. Making disciples is the best way to find real joy in ministry.
Paul told the Christians at Thessalonica that they were his pride and joy: “After all, what gives us hope and joy, and what will be our proud reward and crown as we stand before our Lord Jesus when he returns? It is you! Yes, you are our pride and joy” 2 Thessalonians 2.19-20 NLT. Paul’s joy wasn’t based on his personal accomplishments or professional success. His joy was rooted in relationships with the people he had led to Christ and discipled.
3. Making disciples is the best way to raise the missional temperature of the church.
As people in a church or ministry are discipled and trained to walk with God and share their faith, the attitude and culture of the church will shift. Those people will be more active in sharing their faith. They’ll be more eager to serve and contribute what they have to the church’s mission. They’ll be less interested in divisions and distractions because they’re more committed to the cause of Christ.
4. Making disciples multiplies the church’s influence.
With strong emerging leaders, joy-filled ministers, and an active church or ministry family, the church’s or ministry’s influence is destined to expand. These trained disciples become the people on the front lines of the mission, extending their influence locally and globally. Mature disciples are the ones who get excited about starting new “Grow Groups.” They’re the first in line to follow the Spirit’s lead and start new ministries that have yet to be seen.
This post originally appeared at: 4 Reasons Why Making Disciples Is Important – discipleFIRST