Making Disciples

Jim Putman and Bobby Harrington ask the critical question that every church leader must ask: How is it that churches “have divorced the teachings of Jesus from the methods of Jesus, and yet expect the results of Jesus?”[1] The church must refocus her effort and do so through the lens of Scripture.

What was Jesus’ strategy for evangelism? How did Jesus formulate his mission enterprise? What were the programmatic features of his transformational teaching? Did Jesus even think in these categories? Has the church created an unbiblical trichotomy by separating evangelism, missions, and discipleship into only loosely connected, or altogether disconnected, ministries? How did the New Testament church advance the gospel? How did they fulfill the Great Commission? Did Jesus teach them the way? Did Jesus show them the way? The Gospels show that the ministry of Jesus Christ was spectacularly simple yet all encompassing and supremely effective.[2] We see in the Gospels that Jesus’ plan had one title, discipleship.

Jesus focused on making disciples.

Jesus focused on making disciples. At his ascension, he commissioned the church to make disciples under his authority and in the way that he taught them. Correspondingly, the culture of the New Testament church was committed to making disciples who in turn reproduced disciples. The church must return to her first century commitment. She must understand afresh her commission, and she must align her methods with those of her Master as demonstrated in Scripture.

The purpose of these posts is to biblically develop the imperative and character of a discipleship ministry and then develop a strategy to transition the local church to a culture of intentional, biblical discipleship. We must be about making disciples.


[1] Jim Putman and Bobby Harrington, DiscipleShift: Five Steps That Help Your Church to Make Disciples Who Make Disciples (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2013), 33.

[2] Robert E. Coleman, The Master Plan of Evangelism (Grand Rapids: Revell, Baker Publishing Group, 1993), 18-20.