THE POWER OF PARTNERING ON A PATH
It is often said that the last thing a great leader says is their most important command or instruction. “Make disciples,” was Jesus’ final command. It was His marching orders to His disciples.
While we sometimes argue that while anyone can lead a group (even a new or non-Christian), only a disciple can make a disciple. If you want to make disciples in groups, you’re going to need a disciple, or several, in every group. It takes a disciple to make a disciple.
After all, becoming a disciple has far less to do with digesting information (like in a class) and far more to do with spending time with those who are becoming like Him. You don’t have to use a curriculum (print or video) to make disciples. But you do need a path. We need a process. And specifically, we need a model, a person.
If you want healthy followers (disciples) of Jesus, what must YOU do?
The Rhythms (learned in Rooted) provide a foundation for a disciple…and for groups to grow. These spiritual disciplines aren’t the means by which we grow, Jesus is the means, but it’s important we keep them to keep His voice as the primary guide to propel a group forward. These spiritual rhythms aren’t anything supernatural in themselves, but they each have a way of molding us to become more like Jesus. Jesus is the means and the end of our spiritual growth. We practice becoming more like Him and in the process, we are with Him. In case there’s confusion…
Rooted generates new groups and re-generates healthy rhythms in existing groups…
that transition into ongoing groups who practice rhythms and produce healthy leaders…
who are cared for, equipped, and empowered to multiply disciples.
The earliest disciples of Jesus made it happen even before they had the New Testament. Curriculum, video or otherwise, does not make disciples. You don’t become a disciple by completing a course or curriculum. Yes, some studies might be better at generating the kinds of conversations that open eyes and soften hearts, but completing a study or a course isn’t like completing a degree program that qualifies you to use a title or certain letters after your name (like Pastor or PhD). And, to that end, completing a training, course or curriculum also doesn’t make you a disciple-MAKER.
You might earn a credential, but what makes you a disciple-maker is that you’re actually making disciples. Disciple-making takes time. You can’t microwave a disciple. The process won’t be hurried. A real disciple is always becoming more like Jesus. It’s what gives the disciple-maker the opportunity to say, “Here’s what the Lord is showing me right now.” And everyone has an opportunity to invest in others. Like the servants in Matthew 25, every one of us is given a personal opportunity to invest in others, “according to our ability.” And we might not want to think about it, but each of us are accountable for how we make the most of those opportunities.
It isn’t optional or reserved for those with the credential. It is a command for all of us.
“Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me” COLOSSIANS 1:28-29
Shawn Maurer serves as the Next Steps Pastor of First Christian Church in Canton, OH, helping ALL people find+follow Jesus in their daily lives. Shawn is a native of Youngstown, born into a ministry family where the gospel was cherished deeply and modeled faithfully. After graduating from college, he studied at Dallas Theological Seminary. He’s served at churches in Texas, NC & Nevada and moved to NE Ohio to help reimagine & release Disciplemakers in the Rust Belt. He and his wife, Jennifer have 3 children.