by Khrieko & Nitho, Thailand
A disciple is someone who accepts Jesus as their personal saviour and follows His teachings in order to be more like Him.
The Importance of Making Disciples
In Matt 28:19-20, we see verbs such as “go”, “make disciples”, “baptize” and “teach”. In the Greek text, “make disciples” is the only imperative verb whereas the others are participle and subordinate to the imperative. Therefore, the core objective for the Great Commission is to “Make Disciples”.
In missions, we can see the difference between those who are discipled and those who aren’t.
There was a man who attended a cell group in a village. Out of this group, four of them including this man accepted Christ as their personal savior and was baptised. Soon after he went to the city to work, and nobody was able to contact him. We continued to visit the others in the village and they became strong in their faith. After some years, this man came back to the village. We visited him quite often, he also came to church a few times, but he doesn’t come to church anymore because he has gone back to his old religion.
Approach to Making Disciples
As church planters, we have to be very creative in order to build bridges with the community. This include Teaching English, Sports, Music, Radio, Camping, distributing literature, personal evangelism, health clinics, open air preaching, etc. We sow the seeds wherever possible and we always pray that the seeds will fall on good soil. Doing follow up is challenging but it’s the most important part of our ministry here. If we find somebody who is interested in the gospel, we make appointments to meet them and do Bible Study at their place.
In the Bible Study, we start with Creation and end with The Judgment. There are six lessons from the Old Testament and six lessons from the New Testament. If we’re able to meet once a week it takes about three months to complete the study.
In some cases, we add other topics according to their needs. Within this period of time we will know who are really interested and who are not. When a person decides to accept Christ as their saviour, they undergo water baptism. We continue to visit them, seeking to disciple them and praying to see them disciple others as well.
Good doctrinal books are used in discipleship. However, discipleship is not just studying the Bible or using good books and studying together. Our experience shows that believers who join us in evangelism tend to grow faster in their faith. There are 4 steps we adopt to help disciple those who go with us for evangelism:
1. We do it while they watch.
We lead all the activities: singing, praying, and studying the Word of God, etc.
2. Help them to do.
We help them choose a passage and study together before they present the message. We use this both in the church and outside the church.
3. Let them do and we watch.
They prepare the message and present it. We watch and carry out debrief after the event.
4. Entrust them to do.
They are entrusted to do the ministry by themselves. We help answer questions they may have and continue to pray for them.
It has been an encouraging journey to witness some of the church members who have been discipled discipling others. We thank God for answering our prayers.