If you start a marathon as if it were a sprint, you will use your energy too quickly and give up too soon. When it comes to making disciples, remember that it’s more like a marathon than a sprint. Making disciples is a lifelong commitment, not a passing a fad in your life.
As you continue to walk with Jesus and make disciples, you’ll meet people who started out well. Once upon a time, they were passionate about walking with God, reaching their world, and investing in a few. But now they’re distracted, disappointed, or disillusioned.
On the other hand, you’ll meet people who are still as committed to the cause of Christ as they ever were. They’ve dealt with disappointment but remained steadfast in their efforts. As they look back, they can tell you about people who are walking with God and making a difference for others because of their investment. They will tell you that the cost was worth it.
How can you stay committed to making disciples for a lifetime? There are a few things that will help you:
1. Maintain your personal relationship with Christ.
You can only reproduce what you are. You’ll never be able to produce healthy disciples of Jesus if you aren’t a healthy disciple of Jesus. This was Jesus’ point when He said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” John 15.5 NIV. Just as a branch has to stay connected to the tree in order to bear fruit, you must stay connected to Christ so His Spirit and power can flow through you and make a difference in the world.
2. Engage new people.
If you want to keep making disciples, you have to keep meeting potential disciples. Pray for God to bring new people across your path who are spiritually hungry and seeking something more than popular culture has to offer them. Start conversations with the people around you at school, in your neighborhood, at work, or even at the store. Make it a priority to be with people who are far from God.
3. Invest your life.
People who make disciples for a lifetime are committed to continually investing their lives in others. They don’t see disciple-making as something that happens one time with one group of people. They keep doing the work – day by day, week by week, month by month, year by year – because they know that’s what it takes to see God ignite a movement of multiplication that spans generations.
Making disciples for a lifetime doesn’t happen by accident. It happens through a series of intentional decisions that position you to make an eternal impact. Intentionally cultivate space for God to work in your own life. Intentionally reach out to people who are far from God in your sphere of influence. Intentionally invest in a few who are ready to take the next step. And most importantly, don’t give up.
Because of the importance of intentionality in disciple making, we at Discipleship.org are going to emphasize this skill set and mindset over the next four months. Please join with us and seek to share understanding, insight, and practical tools so that you can become skilled at intentionality in relational disciple making and you can help those on your team or in your leadership group to do the same. There are four ways in which we are emphasizing intentionality to help you in the next four months.
- Discipleship.org City Tour Forums – our four City Tour Forums are designed to help you and your team both understand and develop an intentionality posture. The tour is comprised of one day, high impact forums where there will be teaching and round table discussions. Every attendee also gets a copy of Brandon Guindon’s new book, Intentional: Living Out the Eight Principles of Disciple Making.
Click the image below for more information.
Take the FREE Individual Disciple Maker Assessment – we designed this assessment with a team of national and international disciple making leaders to help each individual be able to evaluate their disciple making mindset and skill. Just by taking this assessment, you will gain an appreciation for the value of intentionality, along with a sense of how you can increase your own level of intentionality. Click the image below to take the assessment.
- Read the short FREE book, Becoming a Disciple Maker: The Pursuit of Level Five Disciple Making – Bobby wrote this short eBook with statistician Greg Wiens to help you understand the mathematical and practical impact of one person’s disciple making efforts and skills.
Click the image below to download this free eBook.
- Read Brandon Guindon’s book, Intentional: Living Out the Eight Principles of Disciple Making – Brandon wrote this Discipleship.org book and Zondervan is publishing, because the understanding and practice of disciple making is so crucial. Every attendee at each of our City Tour events (Nashville, Houston, Dallas and Raleigh), as mentioned above, will receive a FREE copy of Brandon Guindon’s book.
Click the image below to order Brandon Guindon’s book from Amazon.com.
Please join with us in this quest to better understand and practice intentionality. It will help us all to become more and more like Jesus, the world greatest disciple maker.