The Multiply Initiative is our simple yet aggressive plan to multiply disciples. While we can multiply programs, events, services, and churches, the heart of strategy plan is when disciples begin to multiply themselves.
If a new Christian simply replicated your life, would you be pleased with his or her maturity?
Jesus first called disciples (Mark 1:14-20) and eventually transformed them into apostles (Mark 3:13-19). These students became the sent out ones. Here were the steps Jesus used to disciple these untrained men and make them committed evangelists:
- Intrigue – Mark 1:14-15 – Jesus’ ministry provided intrigue into His Kingdom work.
- Initiation – Mark 1:16-17 – Jesus approached those He desired to disciple.
- Invitation – Mark 1:18-20 – Jesus asked them to abandon certain things with the invitation to follow Him.
- Inclusion – Mark 3:13 – Jesus brought the disciples to Himself and to one another.
- Intimacy – Mark 3:14 – Jesus prioritized intimate proximity in order to disciple someone.
- Inauguration – Mark 3:14 – Jesus inaugurated them into a new phase of ministry as He imparted ministry responsibilities to them.
- Impartation – Mark 3:15 – Jesus gave His disciples what they needed to fulfill the ministry He gave to them.
Instead of using a rigid discipleship list that could be constantly edited, use these 6 Categories of Discipleship as a framework for your efforts. The list comes from Col. 1:27-29:
To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we proclaim [DELIGHT], warning everyone [DISOBEDIENCE] and teaching everyone with all wisdom [DOCTRINE], that we may present everyone mature in Christ [DEVELOPMENT]. For this I toil [DISCIPLINE], struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me [DEPENDENCE].
- Delight – Discipleship must be motivated by the wondrous delight of knowing Jesus. Is my delight in knowing Jesus? For what purpose do I want to grow? What needs to be changed regarding my joy?
- Disobedience – Discipleship must warn against disobedience in any sinful leanings specific to the person. What are the most serious sinful areas in my life that need to be addressed?
- Doctrine – Discipleship must wisely equip the follower to possess competent biblical doctrine. Regarding biblical doctrine, what key areas need to be strengthened?
- Development – Discipleship must address areas of calling with the intention to bring about ministry development. How has the Spirit gifted the disciple? What needs to be developed for ministry work?
- Discipline – Discipleship must train in areas of spiritual discipline for continual growth. Which spiritual disciplines must be strengthened in order to grow?
- Dependence – Discipleship must continually acknowledge the complete dependence upon Jesus for the believer’s maturity. What are we praying for God to do in the heart of the disciple? Where are we longing to see His work in the disciple’s life?
Since we have seen how Jesus organized disciples and a biblical framework through which to disciple, let’s come up with your list of disciples:
- Who will I disciple? Organize a reasonable number of disciples based on potentiality and proximity.
- What is the focus of each category of discipleship? Develop a focus list for each disciple to work on for the foreseeable future.
- When will we gather? Decide when you will gather for the purpose of discipleship.
- Where will we meet? Decide where you will gather for the purpose of discipleship.
- How long will I disciple them? Communicate as you begin regarding a desired completion date and an expected maturity level.
Be imitators of me, as I imitate Christ [1 Cor. 11:1].
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.