Making and multiplying disciples (Part 1)
In the last blogpost, I startled everyone by saying, “It is impossible to start a church!”.
Let me explain further.
We do not have to focus on gathering everybody into the same building or same community. We do not have to invite a disciple of Christ TO CHURCH. That is a misconception and creates problems in our theology and the outworking of it.
We can be and make Christ’s disciples anywhere and everywhere and where God places us.
Disciples of Christ do not need events, programs or buildings to function. They are disciples everywhere, in every place where they live, work and play.
The truth is that we have made much ado about something we should not be making much ado about! It is Jesus’s job to build His church, not ours.
So then what do we DO? But that is not the right question to ask. I get that a lot in the people we meet and trainings we conduct. If we ask the wrong questions, we will seek the wrong answers.
The better question is HOW DO WE MAKE DISCIPLES? We hope to bring you on a journey to making disciples. And as we do that, Christ is building His church, His Body, whom we are.
If we focus on making disciples who make disciples, we will be focussed on releasing & empowering disciples to make other disciples. And the disciples that are made by the one you discipled, might not know you or you might not know them. And that is all fine.
We do not need to create a pyramidal structure with us at the starting point or at the top. Jesus is the starting point and He is the Head of His body. I also don’t think we should be spending most of our time managing people in a system we call “church”. Let Jesus be the One who builds His church, and let us be busy about making disciples of Jesus.
So how do we make disciples?
It is interesting that Jesus made disciples for the last 3 and a half years of his life before He died on the cross. He, however did not give us 3 pointers to do it. So what we should do is follow Him and be His disciple and follow the life of Jesus, His ways and His works. In the same way Jesus discipled the 12 apostles, we are supposed to disciple others.
The way Jesus and the Holy Spirit and/or a disciple of Christ disciples you according to His ways, His word and His works, that’s how you do it unto others.
We MAKE DISCIPLES, followers of JESUS CHRIST. To explain further, we make disciples who will follow and obey Jesus as their Lord & Master at any cost. Disciples who know Jesus (not know about Jesus) and walk with Him and are radically obedient to Him.
Well, to relate to “church planters”, my husband and I have in our own right “planted quite several churches” in Singapore and also in Australia. I would prefer to say we have built communities expressing God’s kingdom values, ways, and works. In the same way the disciples formed communities as they broke bread together, shared what they had in common (in Acts 2:42) we can form these communities.
Mind you, Acts 2 is not a formula or methodology but it was an expression of what came about organically and naturally because they were disciples following Jesus and His teachings.
If you use Acts 2:42 as the starting point, this can and from experience have seen that it can end up awry. I have personally heard stories from “pastors” who tried to follow this method, bought a piece of property, thinking it is a better way of “doing church”, tried to bring the church members together to live as a community in the same house, and have ended up with a hot mess of hurt and disillusioned believers.
Let’s stop asking the question of how we can “do church”.
Rather we should be asking how then can we form and multiply communities for Christ?
Want to learn how you can do that?
Sign up for our “Online Training to Train Others” (OTTO) at https://missionalmovements.org/trainings/online-training-to-train-others-otto/
In my next short article and blog, I will also address this.