Disciples Making Disciples, that’s what we’re all about in Student Ministries. It’s the foundation of every single thing we do at the Barn and in all of our retreats. It describes perfectly what we’re trying to do, the only problem is that not a lot of people know what a disciple is. So what does it mean to be a disciple and how do we make disciples?
in Matthew 4:19 Jesus gives us the simplest explanation of what it means to be a disciple as he’s calling his first disciples.
Matthew 4: 18-19 While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he (Jesus) saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
In this, we see the three pieces of what it means to be a disciple: Follow me, I will make you, Fishers of Men (People).
Being a Disciple means being a follower of Jesus. Being a follower of Jesus means that you’ve put your trust in the good news of Jesus, that we fall short of God’s standard and deserve God’s wrath, but in God’s love and mercy sent Jesus to take the punishment that we deserve.
We recognize that we don’t have our lives figured out and that left on our own we never will, so we say “Jesus, I want your way to be my way, I’m going to follow you.” So like the disciples, we want to live like Jesus, talk like Jesus, and love like Jesus becoming more like him every day.
Matthew 16:24-26 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?[l] Is anything worth more than your soul?
I Will Make You.
The Christian life is a process, not a destination. There’s no perfect 4.0 GPA Christians who are perfect at everything, that’s just not how this works. Instead, God has us in a process of daily growth. Think of a tree, if you go and watch a tree 24 hours a day for three straight weeks you probably won’t notice any growth. Every day it is though, bit by bit and if you take pictures every year, you’ll notice how much it’s grown.
Being a Christian is a lot like that, we all have a lot to learn, a lot of areas to grow, and a lot of ways that we fail too. Being a Christian isn’t about being perfect, quite the opposite, it’s actually admitting that we need God’s help, that we haven’t gotten everything in life figured out and never will. That’s why we need to keep following Jesus, he’s the only one who’s got it all figured out and as we follow him we become more like him.
Colossians 2:6-7 And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness
Fishers of Men (People).
Jesus is the connection between us and God, and now our job is to connect other people to Jesus. We Tell people about what God has done for us and we show people how Jesus has changed our lives making us more compassionate, caring people. As followers of Jesus, we need to live differently and living differently will cause people to ask questions about your life like; why is she not freaking out about this? or how is he able to talk to him after what he did? or even why is she always so positive about everything?
Those questions give us an opportunity to point people towards Jesus so that they can become disciples as well. This isn’t optional for Christians, the Bible says that there’ll be a day when everyone has to answer to God and if their sins haven’t been paid for through Jesus then it’ll be too late. That means that the most loving thing we can possibly do is to tell everyone we possibly can the good news about Jesus.
2 Corinthians 5: 20-21 We are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.
So a disciple is:
- Someone who understands and trusts the Gospel
- Someone who rejects their own way of living and chooses to follow Jesus
- Someone who admits that their a work in progress, far from perfect, but daily taking steps to grow through prayer, reading scripture, giving, and serving.
- Someone who cares about other people knowing and trusting the Gospel so much that they share it
- Someone who commits their life to telling people about Jesus.
So we’re all about Disciples Making Disciples, not because it’s a “good idea” but because we believe it’s what God has made us for. We honor and worship God and in the midst of doing that, find out what it means to be truly human. By living a life following Jesus you give up a lot of things, but it’s all worth it because what we give up are things that are fading away, but what we gain will stick with us for eternity.
So Disciples Making Disciples is what we’re all about. You’re going to hear the Gospel, you’re going to hear the Bible being taught, you’re going to be challenged and encouraged, and you’ll have a choice to make. Will you be a disciple? Will you follow Jesus and let him make you someone new? Or will you stick with your way of living now? Once that stops working out for you, come on by the Barn and find out how God has made us to live.