The Great Harvest has started coming in around the world. Many people are “hearing” the Gospel as never before. This is a wonderful blessing, but it also exposes a big problem: the Church is not prepared to receive the increasing number of converts and make them into disciples of Jesus Christ.
The essence of the Great Commission is to “make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:19-20) This is the mandate Christ gave to His Church to be done until His return. This mandate is the answer to the blessing of the many converts coming to Christ.
Based on many years of ministry in the mission fields of rural Africa, Hope Builders Ministries proposed the establishment of the Disciple Makers Program illustrated below. It is based upon three partnering principles seen in the New Testament. The first is the two by two principle of ministry found in Mark 6:7 and Luke 10:1. The second is the one on three principle of disciple making as illustrated by Jesus’ three closest disciples, Peter, James and John, with whom He spent special time. This is seen at the raising of Jairus’ daughter, the Transfiguration and in the Garden when He prayed. And the third principle is found in 2 Timothy 2:2 illustrating the multiplying of disciples to the fourth generation.
Two by Two: Found a “Covenant Partner.” This is a fellow believer desiring to fulfill Christ’s mandate to make disciples. Covenant Partners invest ONE “life hour” per week together where they encourage and empower one another. This is done by asking three questions of one another. 1. “What have you read or learned this past week from the Lord and/or how has God answered your prayers?” 2. “What can you pray or praise God with you for.” 3. “Let us pray together asking God to show us our three disciples.”
One on Three Disciple Making: Find three others who you can disciple in the faith. The disciple maker will spend another “LIFE HOUR” per week with his three disciples (together or separately as need demands). This is a both structured and practical time of training. The Discipler will bring them the Gospel (Go) and when they believe the Gospel of their salvation they will be identified publically with Christ’s church through water baptism and then he will “teach them to DO” all that Jesus has commanded through His written Word. The disciples will be taught the truth (facts) and the practical application of these truths in their everyday life with Christ. They will learn the “substance” of their faith (The Word of God) and experience the “evidence” of true faith as they learn to live out faith in Jesus Christ, pleasing God and being rewarded by Him. (Hebrews 11:1, 6).
The Fourth Generation: We are to be imitators of Christ Jesus. The disciple who imitates Jesus makes disciples who make disciples. In 2 Timothy 2:2 Paul tells his son in the faith, Timothy, to entrust what he has learned from Paul to faithful men who will be able to teach others also (4 Generations of Disicples). Paul said, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” When multiplied to the fourth generation it looks like this: 1 – 3 – 9 – 27 = 40 disciple makers in 3 to 4 years.
Hope Builders Ministries believes that obedience to the Great Commission means following this tried and tested mentoring method (Jesus’ recorded method) is a recipe for success and means to rapidly saturate the world will the gospel of Jesus Christ and make many mature disciples for His Kingdom. Christians equipped and inspired to reach, guide and disciple neighbors, peers and family into a growing faith relationship with Jesus as personal Savior and Lord is what is needed to combat the “slump” in moral, ethical and spiritual stature in the Church. It will also reverse the numerical decline in church, especially in the West, and grow the church with maturing believers who look like Jesus. Jesus wants His house full of disciples (Luke 14:23).