Jesus’ mission is always to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10) and he calls upon his followers to remember that as God sent him, so he sends all of us (John 20:21). As we take steps of obedience to reach out to those around us and make Jesus known to them, God equips us for these experiences.
How do we go about the work of reaching the lost?
Let’s consider Jesus’ prayer request: “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field” (Luke 10:2). Jesus used the symbolic meaning of harvest to explain how people are ready to be gathered into God’s family. Like a field ready for harvest, people are ready for the gospel. We ask God, the Lord of the harvest (Matt 9:38) for harvest workers and go with him when he sends us.
This disciple-making process often unfolds in four parts that each present unique opportunities for forward progress.
Part 1: Sow seeds of the gospel with prayer.
- Create a relational map of those in your life far from God. Pray for and plan opportunities to share Jesus’ love with them.
- Pray for others with authority.
- Fast and ask God for spiritual awakening.
Part 2: Water these seeds with the gospel.
- Share God’s Story with the people God brings to you, intersecting the parts of your story that brought you to him, and move you toward others.
- Start spiritual conversations by listening to others, learning about their lives, loving them well, and sharing how your relationship with them is made possible through the presence of God in your life.
Part 3: Grow these sprouted seeds with the light of God’s Word.
- Gather three to five new believers to grow in discipleship together.
- Train new believers to understand and follow Jesus’ teachings.
- Use a Bible reading plan to align everyone in the group to God’s words.
Part 4: Harvest the fields by gathering believers into communities.
- Gather believers together as a disciple-making, multiplication-oriented faith family for worship, the Lord’s Supper, serving, training, prayer, and accountability.
- Teach believers how to use their spiritual gifts to serve Jesus and others.
- Encourage believers to move together into new mission fields.
How do you know if this disciple-making approach is effective? The evidence is in changed lives.
You can always improve on the process above or the tools listed, but know God alone is the one who grows his harvest of people (1 Cor 3:6-7). None of us will ever be able to disciple everyone, but we can all disciple someone. Then, we can encourage each person we disciple to disciple another.
Imagine what disciple multiplication might look like.
Think about what might happen if you disciple one new person every year. Then the next year that person starts discipling one new person each year. Then everyone who had been discipled continued discipling one new person each year. In thirty years, if this process continues, more than one billion people would come to faith in Christ! Think about that. God could change your family, your town, and your nation through you! You could be where a multiplying movement starts!
At All In Ministries International, our hope and prayer is that you will feel the presence of the Holy Spirit empowering you to make disciples in all the places God has called you. We pray God will continue to create opportunities for you to come to more deeply know Jesus and make him known in your community. We pray for your increased evangelism capacity so that all around you may experience the life-changing transformation of the gospel. In Jesus’ name and for his glory.
Content adapted with permission from Your True Story: The 50-Day Essential Guide to Your New Life With Jesus by Susan Freese.
Susan Freese (DHL, Trinity Baptist College, M.Div., New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary) is the founder of All In Ministries International, which serves the local church by equipping under-resourced believers worldwide to be disciple-makers for Jesus. Serving across Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americans, she and the All In team train women to disciple women across cultures. Previously, Susan served as minister to women at Chets Creek Church in Florida, where she lives with her husband and sons.