How do we know we have made a disciple?

My friend Miquel, a church-planting missionary in Ecuador with Pathways International posed an interesting question some time ago. I’m glad I copied it and saved it because I had trouble finding it on his Facebook page or on his blog. Finally, I came up with it and it is attached now. Everything Miquel writes is worth reading (see blue text below). Here’s what I copied and saved (in blue):

“When can a church be considered as “planted?”  You can see that post and comment here.  Today, and along the same line of thinking, I ask, “When is a disciple considered as “Made?”

Before you answer quickly, consider the following verse.  ”When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch.” Acts 14:21

The language in the Greek is very clear, the result of their preaching the Gospel was the making of disciples.  The qualifications of what exactly a “made” disciple was, remains ambiguous. If a disciple can be considered as “made,” then what implications does that have in modern day discipleship? If it means something else, then what? 

RootsHow do we know we have “made” a disciple?  

How do we know that they are rooted in the truth? Great question. (I love how a great question can bring clarity to a discussion!) I think it would have to be defined by the content of what Jesus taught at the most basic level. So, not someone who is perfect, the apostles and first disciples weren’t and besides that, sinlessness is impossible this side of heaven. But …

  1. Someone who had repented and believed in the gospel of the kingdom. (Mark 1:15)
  2. Someone who is committed to obeying his command to love one another. (John 15:12)
  3. Someone who is bearing fruit (good works for God, answered prayer, more disciples. (John 15:4-17)
  4. Someone who demonstrates they are a follower of Christ by fishing for men. (Matthew 4:19)

I think this helps answer the previous day’s post. A church is planted when, there is a gathering of people formed by these characteristics who come together under the Lordship of Christ to worship him and encourage one another. There is a lot more to be said, but it must, I think, start here.


4 thoughts on “How do we know we have made a disciple?

  1. This is such an important topic. It’s such a misconception to think that getting people to pray a prayer is all they need to do. If their lives haven’t been changed by a relationship with Jesus, then they haven’t been saved at all. It goes back to that scary story where Jesus says, I never knew you. Discipleship is how we learn to live with Him and like Him.

    Thanks for your article.

    Like

  2. Brought over from Facebook

    Matt Stephens said:
    When we look at Jesus we see what a perfect disciple looks like. When we get to heaven we’ll see billions that look just like that. Until then, we’re all a work in progress. No complete disciples this side of heaven. In our PoM class with Dr. Sell we spoke of maturing disciples as the goal. Direction is key.
    October 29 at 11:10pm

    Matt Stephens said:
    This is a sticking point for me, because there are lots of gurus out there selling cookie-cutter disciple-making recipes, and it’s just not that clean-cut in real life. I think we’re best off keeping our eyes on Jesus, listening to the whole counsel of God’s word, and asking ourselves and each other, Are we becoming more like Him, deeper in love with Him, and more gladly obedient to His word? So we focus on questions like, What’s He like? What does a biblical ethic look like? How does heart transformation manifest itself? How to people grow in these processes? And it’s gotta be a long, never-ending conversation, as you mentioned in your post intro.
    October 29 at 11:16pm

    Bruce S. Kunsch said:
    I would never be so worthy
    Yesterday at 11:22am

    Like

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