Matthew 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
How do we make disciples? Most of us probably know how to make converts; we share the Gospel. If someone responds to the Good News of Jesus Christ, there has been a rebirth. A new Christian has been made. But has a disciple been made? How do we know?
A very well known disciple-maker has said that if a person is reading God’s Word daily, praying with his or her spouse, obeying God, and sharing his or her faith at every opportunity, you can be pretty sure you’ve made a disciple. Discipleship is not simply about behaviors and disciplines, however. The Fruit of the Spirit? A disciple should be showing those characteristics. It won’t all happen overnight, but you can tell when someone is growing more mature and when they’re not. Sadly, most Christians today are not growing and not becoming more like Jesus. They’re just sitting on the bench, waiting for Him to come back.
But what do we do to make disciples? How do we get people off the bench? The most essential element in disciple-making is relationship and time. You’ve got to share one-on-one time with a person to make a disciple. Classes and theological training are good, but caring for the person and talking to them directly has more impact. Probably second most important is modeling discipleship. You can’t make a disciple if you aren’t living as one. Preach what you practice. Encourage, love, pray with, study with, and be there for people and you will make disciples.