How does one become an effective Christian disciple-maker?
“…go make disciples…” (Matthew 28:19)
What we individually experience and learn from the Scriptures is personally passed on to others during a disciple-making relationship. This is a rewarding lifestyle that implements Jesus’ selected methodology of small group teaching combined with observation during personal training (see Mark 3:14). As an example of this equipping methodology, in the epistles, the apostle Paul was personally discipled by Barnabas. This took place following his conversion experience on the road to Damascus, Syria. Barnabas faithfully followed the Lord’s example by the way he personally taught and trained young Saul of Tarsus, who later became known as Paul (see Acts 13:9).
Paul spent an entire year with Barnabas being prepared for his own ministry. This took place in Antioch where the followers of Christ were first called Christians (see Acts 11:26). Those months provided them with the opportunity to talk, pray, and work together in a life-to-life ministry setting. Becoming an effective disciple-maker like Barnabas requires the willingness to invest one’s time in the life of another. This often takes place with a newer believer who needs fellowship and personal training. This highly relational ministry is experienced through intentionally providing Christ centered friendship including a positive spiritual example.
Consider Paul’s highly practical instruction to Timothy, “Follow my example, just as I follow the example of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1)