how to make a disciple

Jesus gave his followers a homework assignment. Then he became invisible. (Disappearing and being invisible are different).

Make disciples, he said. What I’ve done with you, do with others.

So what did he do to make disciples?

Go, baptize, teach.

He went. He wandered. He moved from place to place. As he went, he took three and twelve and many with him. We go by walking away from the mountain where Jesus and the disciples were standing at that moment. Right now, at this moment, we are going. Which means that right now, whatever we are doing, we are making disciples.

Disciples of something, anyway.

To help people be disciples of Jesus, in addition to merely living, we are to baptize and teach.

Baptizing sounds scary. It sounds churchy. It’s not. It’s no more peculiar than putting on an over-sized coat and big foam finger to identify yourself as a fan. It’s no more peculiar than a tattoo or a matching haircut or sitting in line overnight to get tickets.

Jesus says, “help people identify with me by doing what I did, getting all wet.”

And then he says, “teach them to obey my commands.”

That is the challenge. Teach commands to people is easy. (Or at least telling people commands is easy). Teaching people to obey commands is hard. When those commands involve our whole lives, we are called to live our whole lives as a way of teaching.

This doesn’t mean, of course, that we have to be perfect before we can teach. It is much more a sense of, “here’s what I’ve learned. Here’s how it looks in my life. Here are the hard parts. Here’s how God has helped me in the hard parts.”

We make disciples by being disciples, by talking and walking with Jesus.

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Categories: questions | 6 Comments

About Jon Swanson

Social media chaplain. Author of "Lent For Non-Lent People" and "A Great Work: A Conversation With Nehemiah For People (Who Want To Be) Doing Great Works." Writer of 300wordsaday.com. I help people understand. Understand some of the Bible. Understand what Lent can be about. Understand what it means to follow.

6 thoughts on “how to make a disciple

  1. Baptizing sounds easy to me. Baptizing is through some water on them, taking some pictures and going on with your life. Making disciples seems much more difficult. I means spending time, taking calls when it is inconvenient, standing along side when times get difficult, encouraging, forgiving, restoring. Making disciples is not for the faint of heart.

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  2. Jon,

    Found you through Chris Brogan.

    Please keep up this great work you are doing. We need as many thoughtful and energized people as possible to help do the ‘homework assignment’ that Jesus has given us.

    I am trying to start a community at thesocialbeliever.ning.com and would love your thoughts.

    Have a blessed new year and I am truly looking forward to following your thoughts on the Book of John in 2010.

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  3. Hi Jon,
    I also found you via Chris brogan…I love this 300wordfsaday concept and this particular post hit the nail ont he head for me in just the right moment. When I am aligned with “trust” that is usually how it works. ;)
    Amy (@LotusAmy on twitter)

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  4. “Baptizing sounds scary. It sounds churchy. It’s not. It’s no more peculiar than putting on an over-sized coat and big foam finger to identify yourself as a fan. It’s no more peculiar than a tattoo or a matching haircut or sitting in line overnight to get tickets.”

    I really liked this analogy.

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  5. Pingback: disciple – bumper stickers and preschoolers | 300 words a day

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