A Roadmap to Reproducing Disciples
Before we set out into ministry, we need to first understand what our ultimate goal is. What will the student look like when they are finished with our ministry? God is the one who is at work in them and through them, but He has chosen us to help shepherd and shape them during this pliable phase of their young life. To give you a little direction, we’ve included some profiles (that the Navigators and others have used in the past) to help the Christian worker understand the end result that we are working toward: Reproducing disciples. You might want to use these profiles to guide you in your ministry and also to evaluate where each of your students are….and need to go. These profiles are not taken from any particular chapter of the Bible, but are simply descriptions of some of the Scriptural characteristics that ought to be present as a Christian grows. Sprinkle them with grace, understanding that who and what we are is just as important (or more!) as what we do in the Christian life and ministry.
Profiles in the Discipleship Process
Profile of a True Convert
- Change of attitude toward Jesus Christ ─ now favorable (John 8:42)
- Change of attitude toward sin ─ now unfavorable (1 Corinthians 5:17)
- Desire to start growing spiritually (1 Peter 2:2)
- Has publicly professed their commitment to Christ (Romans 10:9-10)
Profile of a Growing Christian
- Meets the profile of a convert.
- Is in some degree engaged in the process of developing their relationship with God, i.e. Word, Prayer, etc…(Colossians 2:6,7)
- There are observable changes taking place in their attitudes and actions as a result of application of the Word and/or conviction of the Holy Spirit (John 14:21)
Profile of a Disciple
- Is consistent and growing in the basics of the Christian life for at least a six-month period of time.
- Has developed a heart for God.
- Is willing to make any sacrifice to grow─even change their schedule.
Explanations of above:
- A disciple is a follower of Jesus Christ who is consistent and growing in:
- Lordship – Puts Christ first in the major areas of life and is taking steps to separate from sin (Luke 9:23; Romans 12:1)
- Word – Continues in the Word through study, memorization, and application of the Word of life (John 8:31; James 1:22-25)
- Prayer- Has consistent daily devotional life and is developing their prayer life (Ephesians 6:18; John 15:5-7)
- Fellowship – Demonstrates Christ’s love by identifying with and serving other believers (John 13:34-35; Galatians 5:13)
- Witnessing – Is identifying with Jesus Christ in his environment and is actively sharing their faith (Matthew 5:15; Colossians 4:6)
- Is manifesting a deepening intimacy with the Lord where love and gratitude for Jesus Christ is the motive for their attitude and actions (2 Corinthians 5:14)
- Is demonstrating a willingness to change priorities and time commitments in order to develop their relationship with God and to make themselves available to training (2 Kings 2:1-6)
Profile of a Disciplemaker
- Is continuing on as a disciple, but has now also made a disciple (i.e. has been the major influence in taking a person from a growing Christian or earlier stage to a disciple) (Matthew 28:18-20)
- Has developed a heart for people (1 Thessalonians 2:8; Philippians 2:17)
- Is willing to make any sacrifice to help another grow, even to change their schedule (1 Corinthians 9:19-23)
Explanations of above:
- Has provided the affection and direction for that individual becoming a disciple, utilizing the group and/or one-to-one discipling method
- Is manifesting the willingness to give up their own rights and interests in order to meet the needs of others and make disciples from a heart motivated by love (1 Timothy 1:5; Philippians)
- Is starting to make life decisions (location, vocation, mate, etc.) based upon how they can most effectively fulfill the Great Commission
Profile of a Reproducer
- Is continuing on as a disciplemaker.
- Has been the major influence in helping at least one of his disciples to become a disciplemaker (i.e. has produced a strong 3rd generation)
- Has the knowledge, skills, character, and vision to go to another location to see this whole process begun and repeated (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8)
- (Note the characteristics of a disciple include: they have developed a heart for God and are willing to make any sacrifice to grow. Characteristics of a disciplemaker include: they have now also developed a heart for people and are willing to make any sacrifice tohelp another grow).
Use these profiles as something to shoot for with your students, but also as a great way to measure how you and your students are doing in the discipleship process. Don’t take them to an extreme by turning them into legalistic standards forcing everyone to conform to these in order to measure up to your brand of spirituality. Don’t fall into this performance trap. Theses are just categories to think through as you intentionally help grow someone to to be a mature reproducer of disciples. Listen to the aged apostle as he tells us to have a strategy like a good soldier in Christ Jesus, to do the work of an evangelist, pour out our lives like a drink offering, and even suffer hardship, if need be.