5 Ways That Jesus Made Disciples (And You Can Too)

Who are you noticing?

Disciple is an old-fashioned word but it might be the most important word as it relates to your leadership.

You see, the kingdom of God isn’t about you using your talent. It’s about many people using many talents.

If you have been given leadership, it is your role not just to do, but to equip. It’s your job to release, stir up, disrupt, call out, challenge, and awaken the dream in others.

Remember this?

“So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-12).

If you’re a worship leader, you could have any number of these gifts.

It’s time to use your leadership responsibility to call out the destiny in others.

5 Ways Jesus Made Disciples

Jesus did this so wonderfully. In this post I want to simply outline 5 ways that Jesus made disciples. And these are ways you can too.

1. Notice the Unnoticed – When Jesus set out to form his “band of brothers”, he didn’t go to the synagogues to round up some Pharisees or smart officials. He went immediately to the tax collectors and sinners. He recruited humble fisherman. You can do the same. If you’ve said these words – “I wish I just had more talent” – take Jesus’ advice and notice those who’ve gone unnoticed. Call them out, believe in them, and watch them step into a surprising destiny.

2. Ask Powerful Questions – If you’re a leader, there’s probably some things you know how to do. You have competencies in certain areas. That is the understatement of the century as it relates to Jesus. He knew everything, yet he would ask his disciples questions in order to teach them. Rather than just spitting out facts, he would grow his disciples by asking powerful questions. Look at this:

When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do (John 6:5-6).

Jesus could have just told Philip the plan: “Here’s what we’re going to do. You are going to gather all the food you see in this crowd. You’re not going to believe this but I’m going to flex my miracle muscle and multiply that food so it keeps appearing the more you pass it out. In the end we’ll have tons of leftovers. On your mark, get set, go!”

Nope. Rather, Jesus leveraged his knowledge to teach by asking powerful questions. When people start following you, they will ask you questions about everything. Since you’re the expert, they ask and ask and ask. Learn to bounce questions back at your disciples. Teach them to think and come up with solutions.

3. Don’t Do Ministry Alone – I’m no scholar, but I picture Jesus as an introvert. I mean, that’s how the pictures at Family Christian seem to portray Him. As God Almighty in the flesh, I’d imagine He’d just want to be alone. People wouldn’t understand him, relate to him, or know the fullness of who he really was.

But that’s not what happened. Jesus never did ministry alone. He always had people around. Every miracle was a moment to teach. Every ministry trip was a time to equip.

What would this look like for you? What if you never led worship alone but always had an apprentice with you? What if you didn’t plan your services alone but brought that 13 year old kid into the office and planned it together? Opportunities arise when you adopt the “never do ministry along” mantra. Try it and see what happens.

4. Send People Out – Jesus not only believed in His disciples, he trusted them. Matter of fact, before they were even ready, he sent them out to do ministry. Think about how risky this was. These were inexperienced, self-absorbed, disrespected civilians whom Jesus sent out to preach, teach, and heal the sick. He could have done it all Himself. He could have slapped Peter on the hand, breathed heavily, and barked, “Fine, I’ll just do this myself! Incompetent idiots!” Rather, he sent them out.

5. Delegate, But Don’t Disengage – This is amazing. Here we are 2,000 years after Jesus left talking about what He did. The church continues to grow with each new generation. Jesus built his ministry to scale. He wasn’t going to be on the earth forever. He left.

But in his leaving the church didn’t fall apart. There’s an important distinction here. Jesus left but He didn’t disengage. He sent the Holy Spirit. He continued to do what only He could do – save, heal, restore, and redeem people. Convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgement. But he trusted the leadership of the church to people. People like the Apostle Paul, Peter & John. People like you. People like me.

Leader, you can never disengage. But in order for you to continually grow in your effectiveness, you have to learn to delegate. Don’t start something and then disengage from it. It may fall apart. Delegate, but don’t disengage.

OK, now it’s your turn. The ministry of Jesus is inexhaustible.

What are some other ministry lessons you learn from looking at the life of Jesus?

Share your thoughts in the comments. Trust me – blogs are always better when you contribute. Why?

Because you’re brilliant, that’s why.

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  1. Rafael (Kloudsmonk) says

    Amazing blog (as usual). I think I would say that one ministry lesson learned from Jesus’ life is that every action He took was a teaching moment. Every single thing he did had a purpose. He withered the fig tree with a purpose, he spat in mud with a purpose. Everything had something behind it. In leadership, everything we do should have a purpose behind it. We shouldn’t do anything “just because”. If we’re leading, there should be people behind us following and watching what we do, waiting to learn something. If that’s true then every single thing we do should have a purpose.

    P.S. I’m crazy excited for next week at the NWLC. I will definitely be seeing you at the workshop you’re teaching!!

  2. says

    Thank you for posting this David. I will come back to reread and dig into this one more.I have been drawn and challenged to disciple this past year, and was led to do this with the ladies(aka the Lamplight ladies of Matthew 25) We each commit to try an read the word and spend time with Him daily, track what chapters of the bible we read and any interesting questions or sharing that comes in that, and then we check in and share with each other at a minimum of every other week as we cross paths.

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