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Make Disciples Anytime

Updated: Mar 23, 2019

by Dave Miller

Previous Chapter 7.4 | Next Interlude

Momentum is critical to the tidal wave of a movement of disciples making disciples. Anytime you can make a disciple you should, but you must also be intentional to make time. We use three simple questions to transition from speaking the gospel to meeting again.

  • Who else needs to hear this?

  • When can we all meet?

  • Where can we all meet?

It is crucial when following up with a new believer to meet again within 48 hours if possible. If you can’t meet within the next 48 hours, then try the earliest next opportunity. Contrary to our normal way of thinking, a new believer should share Jesus with his or her relationship network immediately. That is the way Jesus did it with the woman at the well in John 4 and the demoniac in Mark 5.

Jeff Sundell, a church planting movement leader, says:

“Responsibility is like fertilizer to a movement.”

As an ambassador with a ministry and a message you have been trained in your identity. Do not wait to infuse the image-bearing ambassador identity in the soul of a new believer! Give them the responsibility to reach their relational network. God saves them with someone else in mind too!

Anytime can be scheduled as well as unexpected. Entertain my focus on kairos moments one more time as you endure a short journey down my memory lane. I am the father of 5 children. The beauty of pregnancy amazed me with every child my wife carried. Yet with each pregnancy we began to recognize familiar milestones. Before we knew she was pregnant there were six sure fire signs a baby was on the way. When the last one came around we always bought the pregnancy test and calculated the due date.

The first trimester was fraught with her upset stomach and need for air conditioning even in the winter. The transition to the second trimester was unmistakable, Mountain Dews were craved and I enjoyed eating without getting “the look” because the smells no longer bothered her. Back aches, the random falls when a baby heel was shoved into her sciatic nerve, and movement through her shirt all indicated 3 months left.

We knew the due date. 40 weeks was the goal. When we reached 36 weeks, however I packed the birthing bag, made arrangements with friends for the other kids, and pre-registered at the hospital. Why, did I prepare for the hospital so early if we knew the due date? Why not pack and go on that particular day? Because as anyone who has a child knows, babies are born when they are ready, not when we plan. Some come early, some right on time, others come late. However, we recognize, especially after five, when we are getting close to welcoming our child into the world.

So it is with disciple making. You recognize the marks of a soon-to-be or maturing disciple. You see their interest, their obedience, watch their faith grow, and recognize where they must change, but you cannot make them grow at your pace. A seasoned disciple making veteran named Chuck Wood once told me:

“It takes a disciple as long to mature as it takes them to mature.”

Disciple making in essence is purposefully partnering with the Spirit’s timing and work in the life of another person by teaching them to obey everything Jesus commanded.

Three things you must know about making disciples in kairos moments:

  1. Disciple making is messy and inconvenient. The right moments for the Spirit usually don’t fit the right moments for you. But when God is ready to conform disciples to the image of Christ it is always the opportune time.

  2. Spiritual growth doesn’t follow a schedule. You will never make disciples if you expect a schedule, specified plan, and completion date. It is better to think about disciple making as a journey rather than a destination. Not a specific time but a life transformation.

  3. You must practice kairos moments. The way you learn to obey the Spirit’s gentle voice is to practice listening. We know what we require to become who Christ declared us to be: the Spirit, the gospel, the word, the church and obedience. Practicing the 3/3rds process intentionally brings about kairos moments for disciple making. At the same time, weekly engaging the word of God as we seek the guidance of the Spirit to walk in obedience trains us to walk according the Spirit when the unexpected moments arrive. You will not always be with that disciple, train them to follow Jesus with or without you.

Don't loose sight of the miracle in the mechanics of disciple making. Disciple making in essence is rooting out idols in hearts and choosing to make Jesus King in every aspect of our lives. You cannot and will never be able to “make” that happen. You are partnering with the Holy Spirit to be used by God to see people from every tribe tongue and nation worship Jesus. And partner you must. The apostle Peter wrote:

“You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9).

Your Jonathon story is one step of obedience away.

You have been given a simple but powerful disciple-making tool called the 3/3rds process. In combination with Identity Training from the last chapter, the “10 Ways to Follow Jesus Together” at the end of this chapter give you everything you need to begin making disciples who make disciples. [1]

Are you ready to get into the dirtiness of lives, role up our sleeves, and pour out kingdom sweat? I hope so, because I hear Monday morning’s 6 am alarm.

Up Next: Interlude - The Father's Heart

Until there's #NoPlaceLeft...


[1]There are more short-term discipleship options. Pick one and get to work.


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