I would like to begin this month admitting something to you. Making disciples is tough but not impossible. Just because something is tough, that shouldn’t deter us from doing it. There is commitment and responsibility. It’s not something that is done in five minutes then move on to something else.
It’s very important in any endeavor you set out to accomplish begin right, as in correct, instead of beginning wrong. Because seeds of destruction are sown in the beginning. Things don’t go wrong they start off wrong due to these seeds of destruction that are sown in the beginning. It just takes those seeds a little time to bear fruit. I was taught that by a good mentor named Tony Kemp but have experienced starting off wrong and the consequences that come thereafter. Make sure you start with the right foundation so you can build accordingly.
In order to start making disciples, it is imperative to have an outline. Make a plan and stick with it. Structure and order are your best friends. The first point in the outline is knowing how and where to start. Today many people aren’t making disciples because of this very reason. Many believers don’t know how because they weren’t really discipled themselves. In my experience this is the greatest barricade preventing people from making disciples. This is why mentors with experience are very important.
The second point on the outline is time management. Our fast paced entertainment driven culture will deplete every second from you leaving you less motivated to work at making disciples. Time management becomes very important in the disciple making process. It means more than likely some things you and I enjoy doing have to take a back seat in order to effectively disciple. Time management relies on structure and order and our willingness to stick to the plan and sometimes that is our greatest challenge.
The third point on the outline is investment. Who we choose to devote our time to is instrumental in the success of making disciples. One of the greatest frustrations in ministry you’ll experience is investing time, energy, effort, finances, and life into someone only to learn you’ve invested in the wrong person! I’ve been there multiple times and have a few t-shirts from those experiences. If you aren’t seasoned and mature, investing in the wrong people can cause you to feel like you are a failure. It can bring offense, bitterness, heartache, and other unhealthy problems into your life. The enemy will try and convince you to abandon your calling and purpose in life and ministry. We can’t allow that because the Kingdom needs everyone of us.
And He was saying to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.” Luke 10:2
The moral of the story is invest in the right people. The big mistake I made with investing in the wrong people was just accepting them saying they wanted to be discipled. Do financial investors normally go into a business deal without first knowing something about the investment? No they don’t. When someone says, “I want to be discipled and learn from your experience in ministry.” It’s not always the case. Personally get to know those who tell you they want your investment. Ask specific questions and pay attention to the answers. You can find out a lot about a person’s character, attitude, and willingness to serve by asking meticulous questions.
Effectively making disciples, in my opinion, is becoming one of the most important issues of our day. Every believer should be actively playing their part in some form or fashion. Freedom of religion in our post Christian culture will come under attack more and more as time goes on if we continue doing nothing to address and fix our problems. Complaining about the left, liberals, feminists, Democrats, alt right, Republicans, and such doesn’t accomplish much other than venting a bit. I’ve been there and understand the frustrations, but this is our opportunity to capitalize for the Kingdom. The fields are so ripe now for harvesting. Again, we must stop adding to the problem with constant complaints about this or that and actually become the solution. Discipleship is the remedy to our immoral post Christian culture!
Gen Z is the generation born between 1999-2015 (ages 2-18). This generation is currently beginning to enter into universities while consisting of a population approximately 70 million strong. Here is just one example of why discipleship is so important. One of many reasons can be found in a new Impact 360 Institute and Barna Group study and book on Gen Z. In this study, about 3 out of 10 of Gen Z believe that abortion is morally wrong. That is a lower percentage than the previous generation. Add those numbers with Barna Group’s recent study about the previous generation, Millennials, and you have a gap that is widening. Barna recently discovered that 97% of believers believed that being a witness for Y’shua was important. That number dropped tremendously when asked about the importance of evangelism. About 47% of Millennials believe it is somewhat wrong to share their personal beliefs with others of different faiths in hopes that one day they will share the same faith.
Those numbers are sobering to me and leave me wondering what our future will look like if we continue life and ministry as usual? ignoring the importance of making disciples will have great repercussions on our society, culture, homes, and faith. There is a lot of work to be done, but we have an awesome opportunity to push back the Kingdom of darkness and truly make a difference for YHVH’s Kingdom. To be continued…