Churches have reputations! Some have a reputation for being the “teaching” church, some for being the “praying” church, and others have a reputation for being the “worship” or “fellowship” church. Every church has a reputation, and the hope is that all churches would have a reputation for being disciple making churches.
Think about it. If the mission of the Church as a whole is to “make disciples of all nations,” then shouldn’t each local church have a reputation for doing just that? We want to be known for what Jesus called us to be. Clearly the Church ought to be teaching and fellowshipping, but these things are not in of themselves the end goal. They are a means to making disciples. The end result of all the activities in a local church should ultimately produce more fully trained disciples of Christ.
Very few churches in the world are actually movements of multiplying disciples. Movements of addition maybe, but not multiplication. Why is that? Why are there not more churches like the original church in Acts? Why don’t more churches have a reputation like the one we find in Acts 6:7: “And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.”
Here are three things in my opinion that local churches can strive for to become Disciple Making Churches:
First, local churches need to know what a fully trained disciple looks like! Let’s face it, it is hard to hit a target if you can’t identify it. If a church does not know what a fully trained disciple looks like, it will be very hard for church to develop disciples. Jesus made it clear in Luke 6:40, “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.” Churches need to be making disciples who have the character and conduct of Christ.
Second, local churches need to know how to make a fully trained disciple! It is very hard to build a house without a blueprint. It is difficult to develop a soldier without a training strategy. It is a challenge to produce a graduate if you don’t have a curriculum plan. It is hard to make a disciple if you have no clue how to do it.
Jesus gave us the perfect model for making a disciple. He said in John 20:21, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” Clearly, we make disciples the exact same way Jesus did. The same plan Jesus used two thousand years ago will work today. We don’t need to reinvent the process. We simply need to work the plan Christ modeled for us. The plan works, if we work His plan!
Third, local churches need to focus on the priority of making disciples! Satan has been using the tool of distraction for generations. If he can get a church or Christian sidetracked, he has them right where he wants them. Satan doesn’t even need to make a person bad, he just has to get them off mission to accomplish his goal. This is why churches need to keep their hands to the plow and focus on Jesus and His plan for them. We must not allow the enemy to distract us from the Christ’s focus for the Church.
Impact Discipleship Ministries can help your church become a disciple making church. We can train and resource you so that your church is making disciples. Contact us at impactdisciple.com for more information on how we can help you become a disciple making church.