When I look at Jesus’ life in the Gospel accounts, I see an amazingly simple (i.e. not complex) strategy by which He made disciples. Then when He gives those who were already His disciples that great Commission to make more disciples, I see two foundational truths about a disciple-making lifestyle: 1) We must first and foremost BE a disciple of Jesus, and 2) As disciples, we are to MAKE disciples.
These are some of the principles that characterized Jesus’ disciple-making strategy:
Disciples are intentionally selected by Jesus.
Therefore, Disciple-makers intentionally select a few people to disciple.
Disciples spend much time with Jesus.
Therefore, Disciple-makers do life together with those whom they are discipling.
Disciples commit everything to following Jesus.
Therefore, Disciple-makers expect a high standard of commitment from their disciples.
Disciples are willing students of Jesus.
Therefore, Disciple-makers joyfully impart God’s truth to those whom they disciple.
Disciples mimic what they see Jesus doing.
Therefore, Disciple-makers model in their own lives the very things they seek to teach their disciples.
Disciples carry out what Jesus gives them to do.
Therefore, Disciple-makers assign responsibility incrementally to their disciples.
Disciples submit to Jesus’ correction and discipline.
Therefore, Disciple-makers come alongside to assist and correct their disciples.
Disciples call others to be disciples of Jesus.
Disciple-makers teach their disciples how to replicate the process with other disciples.
These 8 principles are spelled out clearly and compellingly in Robert Coleman’s masterpiece called The Master Plan of Evangelism [© 1963, 1993, Revell Books]. He labels these principles as: Selection, Association, Consecration, Impartation, Demonstration, Delegation, Supervision, Reproduction.