Wednesday, December 23, 2015


Great article from the Verge website by Jeff Vanderstelt on discipleship found here.  Verge writes prolifically on discipleship. . . .

Jesus commanded us to make disciples who make disciples. We can make disciples formally and informally. In formal discipleship you need to consider all that you want people to:

Know — key doctrines all people should know

Believe — truths that motivate and transform your identity and behavior

Do — the activities that the gospel leads us to practice

Informal discipleship, in conjunction with formal discipleship is crucial in making followers of Jesus who both hear and obey. Here are 5 ways to make disciple informally:

1. Encourage a disciplemaking culture.

God commanded through Moses (Deuteronomy 6) and Jesus commanded the disciples (Matt. 28:18-20) to develop a disciple-making culture where all of life becomes the platform for disciple-making.

Seven questions to determine if you have a disciplemaking culture:

Are the few doing the ministry for the many? Or are the few equipping the many for the ministry?
Do we spend the majority of our time equipping, training and developing leaders?
Is it apparent that every member is to be a full-time minister in your church?
Do new believers get called and sent into the mission upon conversion?
Do you celebrate those who leave to start new works?
Is there shared leadership within the local body?
Do you intentionally create vacuums for other leaders to fill?
2. Make your life visible and accessible to others.

To be an example for the flock (1 Peter 5:1-3), others need to see our lives as an observable example of gospel ministry, mission and ordinary life. We also need to observe their lives – to see if they are faithful (2 Timothy 2:2). The areas we need to observe one another includes marriage, family, management of our household, love of neighbors, our leadership, our training, and our discipling, as well as conflict management, exercise, prayer and how we use money.

3. Live with your leaders in community.

Jesus said the greatest apologetic for the gospel is our love for one another (John 13:31-45). We practice the “one anothers” of scripture in community. If you’re not developing people to love one another, you’re not making disciples. And you will not make disciples who love one another if they’re not in consistent community where others are building them up.

4. Live as servants together.

Ephesians 4:11-16 tells us that God gives some to equip the saints for ministry, and that the means by which we grow up into maturity is when each part is doing its work. We will not grow up if we are not all ministering. We grow up as we build up the body and serve together.

5. Make sure your leaders live on Mission.

Living life on mission requires getting in the game. Is your missional living more of a chalk-talk (sermons and teaching) or an actual game? Is it just a scrimmage among other Christians or are we actually engaging the lost? If we are not in the game of mission, we will not become disciples, but rather just a spiritual formation group.

Want real-time training on what it looks like to make disciples in the every day stuff of life? Verge Regionals is partnering with Jeff Vanderstelt to bring you Saturate Everyday.

This training is for YOU – the “doer:” the pastor, leader, equipper, or even just the ordinary everyday person desiring to better understand how to be a disciple of Jesus who effectively applies the gospel to everyday life and mission. During this two-day training we guarantee you will gain effective tools and practices to develop a clear plan of action for gospel saturation in your community.

Communities centered around mission are the heart of what God has called His Church to be and do. Attending Saturate Everyday will give you a vision for what it might look like to saturate your own community with the gospel so that every man, woman, and child has a daily encounter with Jesus.

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