Disciples Who Don’t Teach Aren’t Disciples

Thursday is for Discipleship

You Said WhatAll churches are challenged by the need to insure that its ministries are led by men and women who are committed to the same values and vision that the church itself espouses.

How does a church insure that all leaders share the same vision, and commit themselves to the same values as every other leader in the church?

Thesis: At the core of this cluster of values is the concept of reproduction.

Our conviction is that the Great Commission of Matthew 28:18-20 implies that making disciples is more than just evangelism and teaching.  It is more than just character development and piety. The process that Jesus outlines is that of teaching to observe (obey) all that He commanded.

Discipleship, according to Jesus, implies three things that are often left out in any discussion of the Great Commission. 

  • First:          All disciples are in a process of becoming like Christ. A disciple is a person who is learning to obey all of Christ’s commands.
  • Second:     All disciples teach. True, not all disciples have a gift of teaching and not all will do it equally well.  Not all disciples will teach in the same way. But all disciples must teach if they are to be obedient to Christ’s command.
  • Third:        Teaching that is truly biblical involves accountability to teach others also.

The apostle Paul understood this. In 2 Timothy 2:2 he gives his application of what the Great Commission implies by way of a process.

and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

Paul says a certain type of man/woman is to be identified (“faithful”) who will begin to build into the lives of others so that a body of truth and a quality of life will be passed on to a new generation of believers (“who will be able to teach others also”).  The implication is that they will find other faithful men/women who will continue the process.  All disciples teach in such a way that those they teach will be able to teach others also.

  1. How is your disciple-making process working in your church?
  2. Are disciples reproducing themselves?
  3. Are new people being won to faith in Christ, beginning to live for Christ, and leading others to Christ?
  4. Is it time to get some help?

2 thoughts on “Disciples Who Don’t Teach Aren’t Disciples

  1. Marty,

    Great insights (as usual). This kind of thinking really wipes out the clergy/laity dichotomy. When we extend teaching, modeling, and leading to the entire Body of Christ, neither visible leaders nor the folks whom they lead can just be comfortable with pew-sitting (hopefully). This insight brings us back to the revolutionary discipleship Jesus intends. I really appreciate the way you have laid this out.


  2. Hey old friend,

    Good to hear from you. What is happening in your life? Were are you? This post is actually revised from a leadership challenge I wrote and that we use for everyone in the church for any ministry in the church. It helps to set the DNA of our disciple-making process and puts every one on the same page.

    It is one of the things that God has been pleased to use to see results like these:
    * over 600 people trained in one to one discipleship
    * women and men reproducing out to nine and ten generations of disciples
    * 25% of the men leading someone to Christ over a three year period.

    God is good; Life is hard. Disciple well.


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