We know the Scriptures tell us that we are to “Go and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19), yet based on the number of declining churches in the United States, it seems pretty evident that this is not happening. So, how do you change that? We need to make disciple-making a priority in the church. What does that look like? I believe these four things need to happen:

1. Start with Why.

The people need to understand “why” making disciples needs to be a priority. The most obvious way to do that is to tell them, but a more effective way is to show them. If making disciples is important, model it. We are all called to make disciples, who are you discipling?

2. Be intentional.

We all have good intentions, but good intensions do not equate intentionality. Once the people understand why, help them to know how. Again, just hoping that it will happen is not a good plan—you need a plan if you want to succeed. Jesus spent three years with the disciples teaching them. He was intentional about showing them how to live the life of a disciple-maker.

3. Clarify the outcomes.

What does a disciple look like? This question is not referring to physical characteristics, but rather spiritual. What spiritual disciplines does a follower of Christ need to know and show? Teach them how to study the Bible, pray, share their faith with their non-Christian friends, etc. Teach them to be obedient to the Scriptures. We are told to be “doers of the word and not hearers only”  (James 1:22). What pathway will you use to help new believers grow in their faith?

4. Make it reproducible.

Since everyone is called to become a disciple-maker, the church needs to train believers in a way that is simple enough for everyone to follow it. This is the place where most churches get stuck, and a place where I’d be glad to help.

Is making disciples a priority in your church? If not, I’d be glad to help you change that. The Scriptures are clear; the church is called to make disciples. Let’s work together to make that happen!

If I can help you or your church in this area or any other way, contact me at davidl@brnunited.org.

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