SG3 Discipleship*

Most churches in the U.S.A. have a lot of “hoops” that a person must jump through before they are deemed “capable” of fulfilling Jesus’ commission to “make disciples” (e.g. classes, reading, training seminars, being a member of the church for a certain length of time, etc.).

Though a person can (and should) spend a lifetime worshiping the Lord, growing in their knowledge and understanding of Scripture and the application of its Truths, and growing in their understanding of people and how to best care for and minister to them, the starting time for making disciples should be immediately after a person puts their faith in Christ as Savior (i.e., immediately after they are saved).

This truth is illustrated in the story of the Gerasene demoniac in Mark 5:1-10 and Luke 8:26-39.  In this story, Jesus miraculously heals and “saves” a man who is demon possessed. At the end of the story, Jesus tells the formerly demon-possessed man to, “’Go home to your people and report to them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He had mercy on you.’ And he [the man] went away and began to proclaim in Decapolis what great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed.”

Jesus sent the saved man away to his home town and its surrounding community (the Decapolis – the Ten Cities) to be a witness and make disciples through his witness – even though he had no no training, no classes, and seemingly no length of time walking with Jesus or his disciples. The man only knew what God had done for Him. Did Jesus expect the healed man to grow closer to God throughout his life? I’m sure He did. Did Jesus expect the man to continue to seek God’s leadership, forgiveness and healing in his life? I’m sure that He did. But Jesus obviously thought the man was capable of being a witness as soon as he was saved. Shouldn’t church leaders and Christian disciple makers start in the same place with everyone who professes to be a Christ-follower?

Also, take a look at Jesus’ Great Commission found in Matthew 28:18-20 (NASB):

18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

According to the original Greek wording, the command of the Great Commission is, “make disciples of all nations.” In verse 19, “Go” is not an actual command in the Greek, but in conjunction with “make disciples” it takes on the force of a command because it is the expectation of Jesus that his disciples will “go” and actually “make disciples of all nations.”

Do you see any parameters imposed by Jesus as to who can or can’t make disciples? The only qualification that seems to exist for making disciples is that a disciple maker is a genuine believer (i.e., saved). If Jesus didn’t impose parameters on disciple makers beyond being a genuine believer, should we?

In light of these Scriptural truths, SG3 Discipleship is focused on encouraging, equipping, and empowering people to Seek God daily, Serve God faithfully as He leads, and Share God diligently in their spheres of influence, regardless of age, spiritual gifting, or personality type.

The preceding three SG statements describe the most foundational elements of being a growing disciple of Jesus, but there are also some simple action steps that can be implemented to help others grow in these three SG areas (Seek God, Serve God, Share God) – action steps that can be easily implemented by all believers in a simple and conversationally natural way.

Take a look at SG3 Discipleship processes below and give them a try.  If you have questions about these, feel free to contact us with your questions and comments and we will do what we can to encourage, equip, and empower you.

For more personal spiritual growth resources, go to the Resources page on this website.

Eight Foundational Discipleship QUESTIONS That All Christians Can Ask
(no theological training needed)*

1) What’s going on in your world? (family, work, school, etc.)
2) What’s been going on in your spiritual life in the last week or two? (the next two questions are follow-up questions)

3)What has God been speaking to you about? (through the Bible, worship, prayer, circumstances, the Body of Christ)
4) Are you being obedient to what God has been speaking about and revealing to you?

5) Is there anything hindering your relationship with God (e.g., fear, sin, etc.)?
6) Is there anything hindering your relationship with another person right now (unresolved issues, anger, lack of forgiveness, etc.)?
7) Who are you investing in spiritually?
8) How can I pray for you this week?

Eight Foundational Discipleship ACTIONS That Every Christian Can Do, Especially With A Spiritual Sojourner (non-Christian)*

1) Show interest in another person’s life by getting to know them and listening to stories from their life. While you’re listening, ask God to show you how to point them to Him and influence them spiritually.
2) Ask about the spiritual life/background of others.
3) Share stories from your spiritual journey with others.
4) Share Bible stories and verses with others then dialogue about what they tell us about God and His love and desires for humanity. (Use the three questions in the next point.)
5) Encourage people to read the Bible beginning with the New Testament Gospel of Luke followed by the Gospel of John. As they read, encourage them to ask:

(a) What does the Bible tell us about God the Father, Jesus, and/or the Holy Spirit?
(b) What does it tell us about people?
(c) What does it tell us that God is asking of people?

6) Use everyday objects and situations to transition into spiritual conversations (like Jesus did with parables – lost sheep, vine and branches, seeds, birds of the air, etc.). Ask God to guide you in this effort.
7) Pray with others on the spot and behind the scenes as you have opportunity and as God leads.
8) Lead people to put their faith in Christ when they understand their need for a Savior.  Remember that salvation is not just about “asking Jesus into your heart” – it’s a serious, life-long commitment to SEEK God daily, SERVE God faithfully, and SHARE God diligently. Refer to Luke 14:25-33 and Matthew 7:21-29.

*Content on this page is copyrighted 2008 by Rev. Timothy J. Samples, pastor of Expedition Church, Cartersville, GA.