Discipleship Is an Investment—It's Not a Program



Making disciples is embedded in the Great Commission (Matt 28:19). It’s not a suggestion, it’s a command from Jesus.

But how does someone make disciples? The simple, perhaps the obvious answer, is to follow the example of Jesus. But what was the model He left for us to follow?

Plenty of books can be found on the subject. The time-tested classic is The Master Plan of Evangelism by Robert Coleman but there are other solid options available today. Various curriculums for establishing a program for discipleship are also plentiful.

But Jesus’ approach was very simple and He didn’t give His first followers a guidebook for making disciples His way. The approach of Jesus was intentional and very personal, and He expected His disciples to make other disciples—I will make you fishers of men (Matt 4:19).

Jesus poured His life into the lives of His followers for about three years and this is what we see replicated in the Book of Acts through the first apostles. The apostle Paul extended this model as expressed in his exhortation to Timothy—

You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. (2 Tim 2:1-2)

Jesus knew if He discipled people to be disciplemakers, leaders would emerge through the process of discipleship. This was His plan through the guidance of the Holy Spirit (John 14:26; 15:26-27; 16:13-15; Acts 1:2).

Jesus was intentional and very personal and expected His disciples to make other disciples

Podcasts on discipleship and developing leaders

Pastor Bill Holdridge has recorded several podcasts related to discipleship and developing leaders. The most recent one was with a brother who discipled and mentored Bill—Pastor Cliff Stabler. It’s excellent and is a great example of the model Jesus left us, as Bill’s testimony makes clear.

The next one I’d recommend is a podcast with Pastor Paul Berry on raising up biblical elders. Again, it is excellent and something I would have benefited from when I started in my first pastorate.

The next two podcasts are with me (Trip) and complement the other two podcasts. The last two podcasts—but definitely not the least—are with Pastor Bob Claycamp on identifying future leaders and complement the podcast with Ptr Paul Berry.

We hope these are an encouragement and practical help for you. Give them a listen and let us know how they bless you! (See the links below!)