Millions of people will soon be writing down their New Year Resolutions. We might decide to eat healthier and exercise more, but will disciple making be a goal in 2015?
Making disciples is a spiritual exercise but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t set goals and develop a strategy.
Satan has a strategy.
He has a disciple destroying strategy and it is extremely effective. He has a goal and that is to undermine the work of God.
Satan has been perfecting his strategy for millennia and he’s using it on you. Today.
We say we don’t need a strategy because we live by the Spirit. We expect to have divine appointments like Philip did with the Ethiopian in Acts 8. God will just float us around from one divine encounter to another. Our lips will be dripping with wisdom as we teach new disciples how to obey all of Jesus’ commands.
Isn’t that what living by the Spirit means?
Well, how’s that working out for you? Are you making disciples?
Making disciples involves discipline and planning. It involves training and exercise. It involves developing habits over time.
This habit forming process is otherwise known as sanctification. Becoming more like Jesus. It’s something you can’t do on your own strength. Sanctification is an act of the Spirit of God.
Developing goals and strategies to be obedient to Jesus is not at odds with living by the Spirit.
Set Specific Goals
- I will pray for Bob every week.
- I will bring Jesus up in normal conversation once a week.
- I will share the gospel with one colleague every month.
Don’t set more than a handful of goals. You aren’t going to do more than that. But as you set specific, measurable goals you’ll begin to develop habits that will stick with you.
If you need help setting and sticking to goals, Michael Hyatt has some great tips in these free videos and in his Best Year Ever online course. His suggestions work with any kind of goal-setting you might seek to implement for your life or ministry.
As you set goals, make sure to celebrate the wins and learn from the losses.
Making disciples can be discouraging. There may be months when you don’t see any progress. You may encounter persecution or spiritual warfare. Satan’s strategy is to attack Christians who are trying to get into the game. If you aren’t a threat to Satan, He won’t be a threat to you. But as soon as you set goals and develop a plan to make disciples you will come under attack.
So, when you have opportunity to share the gospel or you see that a friend is beginning to turn towards God be sure to praise God for what He is doing through you. Don’t forget to include other people (accountability partner, small group, etc.) to celebrate with you. Let them know that God is at work because your brother or sister in Christ might be going through a discouraging time in his or her disciple-making and could really use the encouragement.
We all need help to be disciples and to make disciples. Our greatest help comes from the Spirit of God and the Word of God. Seeking help from Jesus through prayer and study is essential to being and making disciples.
In addition to the Spirit of God and the Word of God, our Father has blessed us with the people of God to equip us and support us in our relationship with Him. Your church, pastor, small group, and accountability partners are there to help you so don’t hesitate to reach out to them for prayer, guidance, and support.
Finally, there are tons of books, podcasts, free courses, and Bible studies available to help train you and equip you to begin making disciples. I am currently working on an eBook entitled Creating A Personal Disciple-Making Plan. Click here If you’d like to be notified when it’s available and as a bonus I’ll start emailing you additional guidance and resources for making disciples about once a week.
How about you, are you actively making disciples? Do you have a plan or a strategy in place?