This is an ongoing work in progress. While I am writing these articles on discipleship, I am actually doing these same things with other men on a regular basis. Spiritual reproduction is my goal with them. I want them to be able to teach these things to another man that God gives to them. That is the principle of disciplemaking in 2 Timothy 2:2. "And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses, entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others."
Visualize if you would that you are sitting across from me in a restaurant, and we are having an exciting conversation about making disciples.
I would suggest getting a three ring binder notebook for your new disciple, print all these pages as you work with your disciple, so that they may reproduce this in the life of another.
At my first meeting in recruiting a man, here are some of the things I might share with him.
This lesson should only be shared with someone who has become a friend, and who has confidence that you can help them grow in their walk with the Lord. Perhaps you need to start with the lesson on Friendship if this is not the case.
It should be noted that prior interaction should have taken place, where you have won a hearing with this person, so that you can share what is really on your heart. Of course discernment from the Holy Spirit should always be present.
One of the first things I will do as we talk about the inactivity and lack of spiritual reproduction among our friends and church associates is to look at the passage in 1 Samuel 14. Of course many good things are happening in most of our churches, but reproducing disciples is not usually one of them.
In most cases, the people will not swarm to your message on building reproducing disciples. You have to ask God to give you one man (for the men) or one woman (for the ladies). I do not recommend discipling a member of the opposite sex. For purposes of this training I will speak in the masculine, but knowing that these principles work with ladies also.
You can measure if your church is doing this. Just ask the leaders how many "third generation" Christians are involved in the fellowship. These are people who have been led to Christ by someone else who is in that fellowship, who led them to Christ. So Paul found Timothy and Timothy found some faithful men (that is the third generation, and then these men found others also (the fourth generation). See 2 Timothy 2:2
This concept is so foreign to most churches, that it takes a lot of prayer and practice for you to see this multiplication process take place. But it can begin with you and I. We want to seek out those faithful men and help them to become reproducing disciples.
In the example of 1 Samuel 14, Israel was helpless before the Philistine army. Saul and his six hundred soldiers were "on hold". Saul was sitting under a tree and not in the battle. These were some of the guys God had given him as mentioned in 1 Samuel 10:26. But his leadership had waned, and he was being defeated.
But his son and his armor bearer decided to do something about the situation. He did not tell his dad, but got a mandate from God and proceeded on.
Principle learned. Ask God for some help with your vision. Challenge that person. Verse 6. "Come, let's go over to the outpost..." The response. "Go ahead, I am with you heart and soul."
Those are the kind of men and women we are looking for. Not folks we have to drag to the altar of discipleship, but folks who have seen in us the faith and vision to follow us into battle.
Jonathan didn't even have a whole lot of faith. "Perhaps the Lord will act..." was all he could say. But he was willing to step out.
The task ahead was not easy. Verse 4, on each side of the pass was a cliff. Cliffs are not easy to climb as you can see from the story. Verse 13, he climbed up using his hands and feet, with his armor bearer right behind him.
Now according to 1 Samuel 13:22, they only had one sword. Jonathan gave it to his friend, and according to the story, the Philistines fell before Jonathan, and his armor bearer followed and killed behind him. About 20 men fell during that battle.
Imagine the scene if you will. A man of faith, and men falling like flies before him. He had no sword, no slingshot like David, and no other weapon. His only weapon was his "perhaps faith" in an Almighty God who he believed would win the battle.
Panic struck the enemy!
Then an amazing thing happened. This principle will work in your church.
Other men will join the battle.
Men who were sitting around like Saul under a tree.
Men who had gone over to the enemy's camp.
Men who had hidden in the hill country.
And one of the most exciting verses in the Bible.
1 Samuel 14:22b "They joined the battle in hot pursuit."
I think you will find that when you have a little "perhaps" faith, that God will wake up the sleeping Christians around you, and they will join you in the battle. It might take a month, a year or longer. But if you are faithful, so is God.
Seeing a reproducible discipleship plan that is really working, will wake up the sleeping members, the hiding members, and the members that are over in the enemy's camp. Please familiarize yourself with the passage in 1 Samuel 14.
As to the plan.
Get yourself a notebook. Everything I teach you, I want you to be able to reproduce in the life of every man that God gives you.
Make a folder on your computer and save all this information. Remember we only retain about 5% of what we hear. That is why it is so important to write it down.
It is exciting to know we can use the Internet and email in disciplemaking. More than ever before we can effectively reproduce ourselves in many different parts of the world at once. With cheap long distance available for as little as 3 cents a minute, we can use our resources to help people grow around the world.
But zero in on the man or woman that God has given you now. Prime him with what we have been talking about in this letter. Do not be afraid to ask men those tough questions like I asked you.
Remember, that no matter a man's age, rank, or spiritual age, each man struggles with something in his life. We are all different, and I will teach you how to spiritually discern what is going on in a man's life. Spiritual discernment is a learned trait. Learn it and teach it to others.
Accountability is the key. You cannot make a man give you that freedom in his life, but God can and will bring men into your life who crave for that.
Read Exodus 18 - Story of Jethro, Mose's father-in-law, who taught him he could not do the job alone. There is power in numbers.
On that page is a printable page that you can refer to from time to time. You may of course add verses of your own as God speaks to you. I have kept this on the dashboard of my truck for years, and read it often.
Matt 28:18-20, Mark 16:15, Luke 24:47, John 20:21, Acts 1:8. Remember how we talked about the last words of the commander in chief. If we are doing anything else other than making disciples, we are disobeying his last words to us.
Do not be discouraged about what you see at your church right now in the lives of other men. I believe that you and your man, giving credit to God and his words, will do the same thing that Jonathan and his armor bearer did in 1 Samuel 14. Remember the song we talked about, "It only takes a spark, to get a fire going."
You my friend are that spark. Believe it, and act upon it.
Mark 3:14, 15 will sum up this letter. The example of my Jesus, is my marching order. "He appointed twelve, designating them apostles, that they might be with Him, and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons."
1. Take several hours or a whole day and decide to spend some time with the Lord. Ask Him to lay the men or women on your heart that He wants you to pray for to be responsive to the discipleship message.
2. I would suggest you read through the passage in 1 Samuel 14, and just let God speak to you about discipleship. Ask God to open up His Word and challenge your heart.
3. If God has already given you someone to disciple, begin by spending at least ten to fifteen minutes praying with your disciple. You might want to look at this link as an example on how to do this.
4. Talk about your strategy in watching God give you both another person to disciple and so multiply your efforts. Realize that this might take several months as God knits your hearts together. Remember you want to reproduce "after your kind", so it is important to build deeply.