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Becoming Disciple-makers

What would happen if you planted a seed of corn and looked forward to the taste of tender,
juicy, sweet kernels, but you never watered the seed? Obviously, nothing would happen. We care
for new believers just as we would care for new seeds we have planted in our garden. They have
received the Good News seed and we have the opportunity to help nurture them in their faith.
God gives us the blessing and responsibility to help others grow as we grow. Making
disciples extends us outside of our comfort zones and starts us on an amazing adventure with the
Lord of this universe. Gods plan is to bless us and help us grow as we help others grow in His
love. How can we miss out on this opportunity?

Discussion Ideas:

How do we help a new believer grow in his or her relationship with Jesus?
What is a disciple?
Why do we want to make disciples?
What are some different ways that we can make disciples?
Is one-on-one discipleship important?
Why can making disciples be hard?

Truths that Transform:

Jesus came to die for a world enslaved to sin. He set us free, and His last command to us
before He left this Earth was to go out and make disciples of all nations.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the
Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything
I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the
age (Matthew 28:19-20).
This isnt just sharing the Gospel with people; its helping people grow from being infants to
mature Christians in Christ who are ready to help others grow in the faith. Do you get it? Jesus
saw disciple-making as the best way to bring people into a growing relationship with Him that
will change their lives forever.
God gives us a biblical model for disciple-making in 1 Thessalonians 2. Study the following
diagram and read the passage below the diagram and the descriptions of the stages: a) like a
mother; b) like a father; and c) like a brother.

1. Stages of discipleship:
As apostles of Christ we could have been a burden to you, but we were gentle
among you, like a mother [a] caring for her little children. We loved you so much
that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives
as well, because you had become so dear to us. Surely you remember, brothers,
our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to
anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you. You are witnesses, and so is

God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. For
you know that we dealt with each of you as a father [b] deals with his own
children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who
calls you into his kingdom and glory. And we also thank God continually because,
when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not
as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you
who believe. For you, brothers, [c] became imitators of God's churches in Judea,
which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own countrymen the same things
those churches suffered from the Jews, who killed the Lord Jesus and the prophets
and also drove us out (1 Thessalonians 2:6b-15a).
A. Stage one: Like a mother caring for little children.
In this stage we surround new believers with the love and grace of God. We gently
help them understand the amazing gifts and blessings of being a believer. We feed milk at
firstsmall portions of the Wordto help them see how Gods grace and love which
will transform their hearts and minds. The lessons you studied that correlate to stage one

Jesus Death and Resurrection for Us

The Gift of Grace
Our Identity in Christ
The Gift of the Holy Spirit
The Gift of Gods Word
The Gift of Prayer: Talking with and Listening to God
The Body of Christ the Gift of the Church
The Gift of Faith

B. Stage two: As a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and
urging you to live lives worthy of God.
In stage two we help a new believer understand that Gods laws bring freedom. We
teach about accountability and urge them to live lives that are transformed by Gods
power. The lessons you studied that correlate to stage two are:

Brokenness and Justice
Victory in Spiritual Battles
Attitude and Behavior Checks
Forgiveness, Reconciliation, and Confronting in Love
Current Issues Media, Entertainment, Dating, Etc.

C. Stage three: For you, brothers, became imitators of God's churches in Judea, which
are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own countrymen.

In stage three, believers are ready to suffer for the sake of the Gospel. We realize that
the most important thing that we can do on this earth is bring people into a growing
relationship with Jesus. Disciple-making becomes a natural part of our lives. The lessons
you studied that correlate to stage three are:

Sharing the Greatest News

Becoming Disciple-makers

2. The costs of discipleship:

Helping others grow in their spiritual journey takes time, commitment, emotional and mental
energy. The passage below is a bit shocking, but I think Jesus speaks so strongly because He
wants us to realize the importance of our commitment to Him. We know that Jesus doesnt
promote hating, so as we read this passage we can see that Jesus describes our commitment to
Him as just as important as the most important things in our lives.
Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: If anyone
comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his
brothers and sisters--yes, even his own life--he cannot be my disciple. And anyone
who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. Suppose one of
you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if
he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able
to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, This fellow began to
build and was not able to finish. Or suppose a king is about to go to war against
another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten
thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he
is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will
ask for terms of peace. In the same way, any of you who does not give up
everything he has cannot be my disciple. Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness,
how can it be made salty again? (Luke 14:25-34).

3. The rewards far outweigh the costs.

The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he
hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. When he
found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it
(Matthew 13:44-46).
The guy who found the pearl wasnt concerned about what it would cost him to get the pearl.
It was so beautiful, he was willing to sell everything he had to get it. And it is the KINGDOM!
As you grab hold of Gods growing Kingdom through disciple-making, you will find yourself
growing more and more in a relationship with the living God through Jesus Christ. Your
Christian journey will be blessed more than you could ever imagine as you face the challenges
and joys in Christs strength.
4. Disciple-making is Gods plan to bless His children.
The following list shares some of the blessings I have experienced when I am actively
investing in the spiritual lives of others. Of course, every person is different, and God blesses us
differently, but many of our rewards are similar so I wrote this in plural form.

When we make disciples for Jesus we will:

a. Know our Amazing Creator in greater depth throughout our lives and His creation
revelation will be even more wonderful.
b. Find ourselves doing a little more shouting about the great things God is doing in our
lives (Isaiah 12).
c. See our passions as gifts God will use to build His Kingdom.
d. Enjoy the Word of God becoming more alive for us.
e. Experience prayer as conversation with our Father.
f. Experience more of the joys of abiding in Christ.
g. Understand more about being victorious in Jesus name when we are attacked spiritually.
h. More eagerly desire the spiritual gifts and display them.
i. Be more fulfilled than ever because we will realize God is building His Kingdom through
us and we are taking part in His great plan.
j. See our challenges in life as opportunities to grow and share.
k. Listen to sermons with an ear for ourselves and for new believers, and we will be excited
no matter how many times we hear the Gospel being presented.
l. Honestly be able to say and sing I Love to Tell the Story.
m. More fully understand the blessing of praise through singing and prayer.
n. See new disciples increasingly using their gifts in the church and community.
o. See our gifts fine-tuned.
p. Find strongholds of evillike materialism, apathy, spiritual attacks on families
weakening and the church getting stronger.
q. See and experience more of Gods healing of the brokenness around us.
r. Find ourselves dancing a little more! (At least on the inside.)

Express It and Live It!

1. Start praying for someone with whom you can meet. Pay attention to the relationships
God puts in your life. Build bridges.
2. As you begin to meet, always ask God to show you how you can help a new believer
grow in the different areas discussed. Ask God to help you think from the perspective of
someone new to the faith.
3. Go and tell someone about the pearl of great price.
4. Here are the steps to get started:
Step 1: Invite someone to get together with you to help each other grow in your spiritual
Step 2: Get them registered to take this course and you can re-register to take the course.
Step 3: Set up times to meet weekly.
Step 4: When you meet:
a. Share what has been going on in your lives.
b. Pray together.
c. Listen to the teaching for the lesson.
d. Discuss how this lesson applies to your life.
e. Confirm the time and lesson for next week. (Either print out the lesson ahead of
time to give to them or email them the lesson from the website or they can go
online themselves and print it out if they do not have the book.)

1. Why disciple?
2. Whats so great about discipleship and what is challenging about it?
3. Do we disciple everyone the same way? Why or why not?
4. Review the stages of disciple-making from 1 Thessalonians chapter two.