Have you ever encountered sloth? And no, I’m not talking about the slow-moving mammals that spend most of their lives hanging upside down. Although the sloth I’m referring to is just as real as these fuzzy creatures. Sloth is a real tension in most of our lives. While we may not be “lazy people,” we all wrestle with sloth. Lazy thinking, lazy attitudes, lazy disciplines, lazy behaviors, lazy work ethics, and lazy patterns. If we’re honest, sloth sneaks up on the best of us, taking on many different forms.
The antidote to sloth is intentionality. The older I get, the more I realize that intentionality is at the core of most every completed goal or mission. Without intentionality, we don’t get much done. To-do lists, strategic plans, blueprints, maps, assembly instructions, course syllabuses, and calendars are all forms of intentionality. Without these tools, we lose productivity.
Without intentionality, we don’t get much done.
Sloth and intentionality are always at odds in our spiritual lives, especially when it comes to following Jesus and making disciples.
It makes sense that disciple making requires intentionality. After all, Jesus was the master disciple maker. He knew that completing His mission would take more than just making disciples. He would need to make disciples who would make disciples. He would need to be laser-focused on making disciple makers. It’s the same mission He called us to 2,000 years ago (Matt. 28: 18-20). By making disciple makers like He taught and showed us, we would awaken His multiplication dream He set forth in Acts 1:8:
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
The movemental dynamic of disciples who make disciples who plant churches that plant churches is part of this multiplication vision.
If Jesus’ style of disciple making was intentional, and we’re following Him as our model (as we should be), then we must be laser-focused, as well. We can’t be content with just making disciples. We have to focus on making disciples of people who will focus on making disciples.
We can’t be content with just making disciples.
Last week, we introduced our newest multiplication tool: the Disciple Maker Online Assessment. This week, I’m excited to once again partner with Discipleship.org and Healthy Growing Churches for the new FREE eBook, Becoming a Disciple Maker: The Pursuit of Level 5 Disciple Making by Discipleship.org’s Bobby Harrington and Healthy Growing Churches’ Greg Wiens. Both of these guys are such champions for church multiplication, and both fervently believe that there’s nothing more important today than being a disciple maker who makes disciples—to the fourth generation.
They collaborated to write this book to examine what it means to be a disciple maker and how you can use this new tool to help you plot your progress and develop as a disciple maker. As I said last week, the Disciple Maker assessment gauges disciple making on five levels. Our prayer is that you’ll aspire to be a Level 5 disciple maker who makes disciple makers to the fourth generation.
In this new book, Bobby and Greg point out that Jesus’ Great Commission is not about what one person could do, but rather, “the multiple generations that could result and the cumulative impact they all would have.” Jesus was strategically intentional about making disciple makers. His disciples had no doubt over what He called them to do and how to do it. I think you’ll really appreciate Bobby’s and Greg’s perspectives on Jesus as an intentional disciple maker who made disciples who, in turn, knew they must invest their lives in those who would also make the same investment in others. I know I do.
I love seeing these various resources come together for the purpose of carrying out Jesus’ vision and multiplying His Church. If you haven’t noticed, Exponential is unapologetically and relentlessly intentional about seeing disciples who make disciples who plant churches that plant churches. It is the core purpose of the Church. Becoming a Disciple Maker and the Disciple Maker Online Assessment are critical resources in fueling our “4 to 10 mission” to see the number of reproducing churches in the United States grow from less than 4 percent to greater than 10 percent.
An intentional disciple maker,
P.S. You can be intentional about pursuing a multiplication vision. We’ve designed our 2017 Dream Big theme around this. You can experience the Exponential conference this fall at one of five stops on our Dream Big Tour: Washington, D.C., Los Angeles (Exponential West), Chicago, the San Francisco Bay Area and Houston. I hope you’ll bring your team out for what I believe is one of the most intentional steps you can take toward becoming a leader and church that makes disciple makers. Click here to learn more.