NAME OF THE BOOK : DISCIPLES ARE MADE NOT BORN
NAME OF THE AUTHOR : WALTER A HENRICHEN
NAME OF THE PUBLISHER : VICTOR BOOKS
A division of SP Publications, Inc
Reviewed by Dr. Surya Kumar Daimari.
THE AUTHOR : Walter A Henrichsen.
Walter Henrichen is a personnel director for the worldwide ministry of The Navigators in Colorado Springs, Colo Graduating from Central College, Pella, Lowa and Western Seminary, Holland, he ministered at western Michigan University in Kalamazoo and later joined the Navigators. He is married. He and his wife Leette have three children.
THE THEME : THE WORLD VISION through Disciple Making.
Explanation and Significance of the Theme :
The theme of the book throws a new light in the importance of disciple making to have a world vision. This vision was the vision of our Lord Jesus Himself. He saw the whole world through his 12 disciples that he had trained in a most special way by imparting of His own life.
Disciple making "is the mandate of the Master (Mt 28:19-20). We may ignore it, but we cannot evade it," Says, Hendricks Howard G. in his forward to the book. He further states, "Our risen Christ left this legacy, the Magna Charta of the Church,"
The mandate of our Lord is in fact the "Magna Charta of the church to day. Many are Christians, but few are disciples, we will never reach the whole world and fulfill the lord's vision if we continue to be mere Christians and not the disciples in true sense of the term. The author in his book "Disciples are made not born" has put an emphatic stress on multiplying disciples only through which we can reach the whole world. He displays IITim 2 as the key verse to his book that reads,
"And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men. Who shall be able to teach others also".
Paul's letter to Timothy, his son in the faith has been termed as his "Last Will and Testament" . The author has adopted this principle as the principle of disciple making, 'COMMIT THOU TO FAITHFUL MEN' who shall be able to TEACH OTHERS also. "Implementing this vision of multiplying disciples constitutes the only way Christ's commission can ever ultimately be fulfilled". Says the author.
Disciple making is a continuing process which was started with Jesus and will continue till he returns. Disciples are not born. They are made out of Christians. They are the results of Faithful men and women. Thus disciple making is a responsibility of faithful men who have been entrusted and delegated to by the Lord Himself. From this point of view, the theme is predominantly significant because this is the mandate of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself and the "Magna Charta of the Church" to day.
The book has mainly two parts.
Part one ----contains the Principles of Discipleship.
Part two The Training of Disciples.
Watter A. Henrichsen's "Disciples are made not born" is indeed superb so far as the value of the book is concerned. The book is full of spiritual assets and principles for a Christian which are not mere theories but eminently practical. It is an eye opener to those born Christians who are not disciples. It is also a kind of real hand book for every true disciple of Christ. God has a purpose with every body's life. Every Christian must be able to grasp this purpose of God for him and find his objective in life with a perspective. The purpose of God is clear in the word of God which is made available to every body. The author has hinted out that we are not to live a life which is self oriented and selfish. Today there are many Christians but few disciples. This is indeed grieving to God's heart. God has called us with a dignified calling to live for man and for him. This is the legacy of our Lord Jesus and the magna Charta of the church. In order to fulfill this legacy of our Lord, the church must be committed to the multiple disciple making process.
There is no greater joy and "no greater objective in life than to give yourself for others." This is what the author has emphasized in his book. I strongly feel this book is a 'MUST READ' book for every Christian specially for those who are in leadership.
A CRITICAL SUMMARY
THE CONTENENTS OF THE BOOK
1.The kind of Person God uses
2.Jesus as Lord
3.The Cost of Discipleship
4.A Proper View of God and Man
5.Evangelism and the Disciple
6.Recruiting a Prospective Disciple
7.How to Train a Disciple --- Follow-up
8.How to Train a Disciple --- Imparting the Basics
9.How to Train a Disciple --- Conviction and Perspective
10.How to Train a Disciple--- Gifts and calling.
11.Multiplying your Efforts –
12.Choosing a Life Objectives.
No of Pages : 160
The Kind of Person God Uses:
Taking II Tim 2:2 as the key verse, the author goes on to analyze his principles of disciple making. It was apostle Paul who said in II Tim 2:2
“And the things that thou hast of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also,”
The relationship between Paul and Timothy was like Father and Son in the faith. Paul was building up his trust on Timothy and entrusted him to do the works of disciple making. The three most important words are ---
Faithful men and
Teach others also.
These are the most essential characteristic features of discipleship. Disciple making is a continuing process, perhaps the never ending process. “Commit” suggests the transmission of this process (the task of disciple making) from one person to another. It is truly a divine commission. Christ delegated this commission to his disciples. Paul has committed this same task to Timothy to some faithful men and that these faithful men may commit the same to others. SO goes on the process. Faithful men --- are the marks of disciples.
Teach others also --- Disciple making is a process that passes from one generation to the other which began with Paul and Timothy, then to Faithful men and finally to others also. About the importance of teaching, the author says.
“It entails the imparting of a life – the same in depth transmission that occurred between Paul and Timothy.” The author in this passage explains the qualities of a faithful man.
A faithful man is the one who adopts as his objective in life the same objective God sets forth in the word of God. His objectives are never temporary but always eternal. He is the one who is ready to pay willingly any price to have the will of God to be fulfilled in his life. This is very important and crucial an aspect of life to be a good soldier of Jesus Christ. A faithful man also has a love for the word of God who diligently searches the scripture and submits himself to the authority of the word of God. He has a servant heart to serve the people. He adopts the same attitude that Jesus did who came “not to be ministered unto, but to minister and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Mt 20:28). In fact, he has a love for people and lives in their hearts. The author also explains the negative aspects of a faithful man. He does not have an independent spirit. The work of God is a team effort. He cooperates with other like minded brothers and sisters in the same faith. He also does not allow himself to become trapped in bitterness.
Jesus as Lord:
Accepting Lordship of Jesus Christ above all things is one of the most important quality of a disciple. The author explains four aspects of making Christ the Lord of our Lives.
Jesus is Lord whether we want or not.
Reasons why we do not want His Lordship.
The meaning of Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Why Jesus wants to be our Lord.
Jesus wants to be the Lord of our lives. He is the creator and controller of all things. He is the Head of the Body, the church, the beginning and the first born from the dead. Many do not like to acknowledge Him as Lord because they do not like to surrender a small but very important part of life, namely the “will”. Lordship is surrendering completely this part of our Life to Jesus and let Jesus alone control. A disciple is the one who disciplines his life in accordance to the will of the Lord. “When Jesus Christ is Lord of your life, every area is under His Jurisdiction – your thoughts, your actions, your plans, your vocation, your leisure time, and your life goal. All of these are under His Lordship. “Says the author.
Lord also ensures every good thing for us from the Lord Himself. Because of His Lordship, Jesus wants to get involved in our life. According to Jeremiah 29:11, the Lord has plans for us and His plans are for our good and for evil.
What does it mean to Acknowledge Him as Lord ?
Jesus taught His disciples how to pray in Mt 6:9-13. In this prayer, we can readily see the deeper meaning of Lordship. The very first two words, “our Father” give us a sense of our relationship with other people. A disciple must be able to identify with people where they live and act. He also must understand the needs and frailties of other people. Our God is not the God of mine only. He is the God and Father of other people also. “Hallowed be thy name.” --- Lordship is in fact surrendering one’s own name, his fame and his glory to Jesus, his Lord. Jesus ‘name should be hallowed and not his own name. Lordship is desiring Lord’s kingdom to come down to our earth, ie, our own little heart to rule as He rules in heaven. It is Christ’s kingdom that we should seek to build. And this is what Lordship is.
“Thy will be done” – Lordship is again surrendering our own will to Jesus completely and let His will find a concrete place in us. It is surrendering to Jesus all the areas of our life.
“Give us our daily bread” --- Lordship is also depending upon Jesus completely because He is the giver of our daily bread. It is believing that everything belongs to Jesus and everything comes from Him. Lordship is surrendering everything we have, our belongings, our favorites, our hopes, our future and all that we are. Another important aspect of Lordship is forgiving one another. Thus Lordship is a mutual commitment not only receiving forgiving but also forgiving others.
Lordship is also surrendering questionable things of our lives. “Lead us not into temptation.” --- It is surrendering all the areas of our life to Jesus. “Deliver us from evil” --- Lordship also involves the recognition of the strength of Jesus in our life to keep us from all evil. Jesus is the only one who can deliver us from the power of sin and Satan. Jesus made it possible only at the price of His blood on the cross. Thus, Lordship is surrendering our total self to Jesus and believing in His strength.
Why does Jesus want to be our Lord ?
Jesus loves us and this is why He wants to be our Lord. He wants to be involved in our lives so that He can tell us when it is safe and when it is not safe to move ahead in the walk of our lives. Jesus is the Lord of all and He indeed takes care of us and wants to be the Lord of our lives.
The cost of Discipleship :
“discipleship has been designed by God with our best interests at heart. It was not designed to help God out, but rather to ‘help us out’ “ Says the author. God has a purpose in His design. And his purpose is to help us in our needs. Thus discipleship is our priority to tap the infinite resources of God. It is indeed our priority to give our lives for the sake of ourselves. Discipleship is not doing something in favor of God but rather doing us a favor. Jesus Himself said,
“I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it abundantly.” John 10:10
It is very important that the disciple of Christ must grasp this with reality. The author has here explained at least five principles or qualities of a disciple from Lk 14 in a very special way. They are ---
“Disciple is one who in every area of his life determines from the Bible what is right and lives it consistently.” The importance is that a disciple must be a man of right principle seeking for the truth always.
“The disciple is one who is in constant touch with people in need.”
God has designed everything to help us. God’s laws and commandments are for our good. They make us happy and fulfilled. They are given to keep us out of troubles. Jesus never turned down any person that came to Him for help. Jesus was constantly in touch with needy. This is one lesson that every disciple should learn, to live for the good of others. Giving and dying is the main principle of a disciple. The disciple is not the one who exalts himself. It is Christ who will exalt him. There is nothing wrong to be exalted, or to be the first or to be a leader. But what Christ is saying is that one must be satisfied in His way.
“The key to being first is being last. The key to living is dying. The key to being free is being Christ’s slave. The key to getting is giving. The key to being a leader is being a servant. The key to being exalted is to live a life characterized by humility,” The author.
These are the rules of God made for us by which we ought to live our lives pleasing to Him.
“In no way can a person get without giving or truly live without dying”---
The disciple is one who has learned this great truth and is living his life accordingly.
“The disciple is one who is in tune with the voice of the Spirit of God.”
The author has cited the parable of the Great Supper in order to explain the nature of His call to every man into His kingdom. The parable obviously refers to the kingdom of heaven and to that great feast with God the Father and His Son the Lord Jesus Christ. This is indeed God’s invitation to receive His Great Salvation. But many are rejecting His invitation. Only few are responding. Salvation is free of charge. It costs us absolutely nothing. But people are today preoccupied with the insignificant things, ie, with their dreams, their aspirations and thus have missed God’s invitation to a perfect place. God has a perfect plan for every body one who is willing to accept His invitation. He is ever calling us with the voice of His Spirit. A disciple is the one who listens to His voice.
The disciple is one who has a spirit of desperation that burns deep within the soul.
Jesus had a great concern for the people that followed him. The multitudes followed Jesus and even the public and sinners heard him speak. Christianity carries a message of rescue. It is obviously designed for the desperate and the needy. Thus the fundamental requisites for true discipleship is a spirit of desperation for the desperate souls.
A disciple is one who is willing to renounce all other loyalties in presence to Jesus Christ.
A disciple must follow Jesus and abide by Him even if it appears that it will cost him his mother and his father, his wife (or her husband), his children. A true disciple should count every cost of being a disciple before committing one self. “However, the ability traces back to the will. The ability to be a disciple is ours through the resources of Jesus Christ (II Pet 1:3) : the only factor we need to add to the equation is that of our will” Says the author .
Willing to pay the cost does not mean losing everything . In fact, it is surrendering to Jesus our total selves and believing on his resources . Not willing to pay the cost , it means losing . The cost one will pay for being a disciple is far greater than the cost one will pay for being one. It is God’s will and design that every believer should be a disciple . But when a believer turns back from his commitment he becomes good for nothing like the savorless salt. “Men cast it out.”
A Proper View of God and Man
A disciple must have a proper view of God and himself. Without understanding himself one will never have a proper understanding of who God is. Conversely, one will never understand himself until he understands who God is . The author here gives us a proper view of God and the man .
The Nature and Character of God :
Quoting from is 40-43, the author points out the following character of God .
God is a glorious, self manifesting God. Our God is a God who is constantly seeking men . It is not man seeking God. It is God who is willing to have fellowship with man.
Our God is a powerful God. He is the creator of all things .
Our God is a God who feeds us and leads us like a shepherd tending his flock.
Our God is a God who is in absolute control. Even nations are under his control. World powers are nothing before Him. The mightiest of nations is less than drop in the bucket and as insignificant as a tiny speck of dust on a balance. (Is40:15-17)
Our God is a benevolent God. He never hurt us and does not want to hurt us . He cannot hurt us except with divine permission as in the case of Job . It is possible for a man to ruin himself . He himself is his own worst enemy.
“But if you are walking by faith and in obedience, and God is who he say he is, then no one else can ruin your life ; no one else can make you miss the perfect will of God.”
Says the author
God is man’s Savior
It is God alone who along save us . only God can give us true security, the eternal security .
As a disciple, when grasp the greatness of God, It is easy to see that all of our problems are nothing.
Nature and Character of man
Is 40:6-7 describes the man as the flower of the field that fades and as the grass that withers away . James in 4:14 says our life is like a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. It is therefore very important that we realized the importance of giving ourselves to the right things. The author has made it clear that “all of the evil and calamity that falls upon man is a product of his own folly and sinfulness. Conversely, all of the good that falls upon man is a product of God’s grace and mercy”. Wherever calamity falls and disaster strikes, the man is quick to blame God. Many would view the crucifixion as a tragedy, the empty tomb as a calamity that somebody had stolen the body. But a proper perspective of God and man will show us that they are not marks of tragedy or calamity but of triumphs and victories .
God’s promises to us are all conditional.
Is 58:10-12 Says,
“………….. If thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul ; the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul ; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday; and Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones; and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters fail not --- thou shalt be called “The repairer of the branch, “the restorer of paths to dwell in.”
God has abundances of promises to fulfill our desires and prosper manifold. The only thing that we need to do is to devote our life to this kind of a goal and objectives that God has set for us. And this is God’s commitment to man. Here in this lies the logic of a discipleship.
Evangelism and Disciple:
The main purpose of evangelism is to populate heaven and depopulate hell. Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself is the pacesetter of evangelism. Jesus’ approach to evangelism is very significant. John gives a striking example of Jesus’ approach in chapter 4.
Jesus always picked up opportunity for evangelism. Jesus felt need to go through Samaria. Samaria was a neglected land where a remnant of 10 northern tribes of Israel remained and intermarried with mixed tribes producing a nation of mixed origin called the Samaritans. Thus they were neglected and outcast people. The Jews had no dealings with them.
But Jesus felt need to pass through the country. He met a Woman of Samaria near the Jacob’s well. She was immoral and she was outcast. She had lost her reputation. But Jesus asked a drink of water from her. He was tired and needed rest. But out of his need he took the opportunity to witness. Because his main objective was to reach the lost and become her Savior. This was the reason why Jesus became friend of publicans and sinner. This is a striking example. A disciple of Christ must follow the Savior’s example.
“Evangelism begins with becoming friends with worldly people.” Says the author.
Principles in Evangelism
The author has drawn as many as eight principles of evangelism from John Chapter 4.
“Open the opportunity by asking a favor”
Jesus took the opportunity of evangelism by asking the Samaritan woman for a drink of water. This approach of Jesus made the woman feel needed and important. And we know the consequence of the conversation between Jesus and the woman. This is a basic and novel approach that the disciple of Christ must follow.
“Tailor the approach to the person.”
Jesus offered the woman a gift and this aroused her curiosity. And He talked to her with a straight forward answer. Jesus always took a right approach for the right person.
“Choose the questions you want to answer and ignore the others.”
This is very important in evangelism. This is what Jesus did with the Samaritan woman. Jesus ignored the controversial points that the woman had raised such as “--- the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans” (v9) But you ask me for a drink of water ?), “Where should people ought to worship God ?” (V20) Jesus Knew how to tackle the questions. The issue is not where should we worship God but the real and important question is how about our relationship with God in a most personal way.
“Strike for the “open nerve” that causes the person to expose his need.”
The Gospel is a good news which is able to change the life of an individual. It is a good news that can meet the needs of a person. The main objective of evangelism is therefore to expose to the person his needs. It is important that the evangelist try to find out the needs of the person he is approaching to and to know what his preoccupation is.
“Tell the truth even if it hurts.”
An evangelist must have a firm conviction on what he believes and on what he says. Christ gave very straight forward answers to people that asked Him a question. The same should be the character of an evangelist when he talks to people about spiritual truths.
“Agree with the person as much as possible.”
We need to follow a kind of balance principle. It is important that we agree on some basic points in order to allow the conversation go on. The author brings the example of the Samaritan woman whose question was, where God was to be worshiped. Jesus agreeing with the woman continued that the main issue was not however between Jerusalem and the mountain of Garizam as the place of worship but that we need to worship God in spirit, since God is a Spirit.
“Don’t allow the conversation to get off the subject.”
It is important that we remain on the same track. There may be people trying to avoid the moral issue by asking a theological question like that of the Samaritan woman “Where should we worship ?” In such situation, the evangelist must be able to pursue the real issue, lovingly pointing out that question is not so much, “What about people who have not heard ?” but rather”, what about you that have heard ?”
“Be sensitive to how the Holy Spirit is working in the person’s life.”
Jesus did not push the Samaritan woman to believe whatever He said. He simply exposed to her the main issues of life and allowed her to ponder over the things. That was enough for the woman. She first called Him a Jew, then as Sir, then called Him a prophet and finally confessed Him as the Christ. This is the way the evangelist should approach. He should hand over the rest on the working power of the Holy Spirit.
The author says that Evangelism is a kind of “Spiritual Warfare.” Spiritual warfare means fighting with the forces of darkness to deliver the souls of people. An evangelist must be ready for this warfare. We need to face this battle whatever the cost may be, even if our life. The important thing to know is that we are not alone in this spiritual combat. God is with us. Because this is His will. And we are doing His will. “--- the will of God is for us to do the work of evangelism. The disciple’s ministry begins with evangelism” Says the author.
Recruiting a Prospective Disciple.
We are the ambassadors of Jesus Christ. Our Business is to recruit man and woman to a life of discipleship for Jesus. But there are certain essential principles which we must consider while recruiting people. The author has here set aside as many as eight principles so as to stimulate our thinking. They are
1.“Recruit to a vision, not to an organization.”
By organization the author means any kind of organization like the church, youth clubs, Christian organization, the Navigators, the men’s fellowship, the women’s guild etc. Generally people are recruited to an organization. We are more or less concerned about the organization with its problems and statistics or records. We are less concerned about God’s value system. God gave us a vision and His vision is to save the whole world. We must serve this vision while recruiting people for Christ.
2.“Do not create the impression that people are doing you or God a favor by being faithful to the cause of Christ.” We must be careful in recruiting people. Our Lord Jesus Christ had underlined the cost involved in being His disciple. We will run the risk if we recruit unfaithful men. Involvement in God’s work should always be based on a volunteer basis. We must not sacrifice quality in order to gain quantity.
3.“Grow into business – don’t go into business”
We should start with small band of faithful men rather than big and build in depth. Our objective should be to disciple these men first only after that we should thrust out into another program of recruitment.
4.“Tailor the job to the person rather then the person to the job”
In the initial stages of disciplining process, Our goal should be to help the men we have recruited to meet his needs and not ask him to lend support to the ministry.
5.“Discipleship must take into consideration the development of the whole man”
According to the author development can be categorized into three areas they are
He define teaching as the imparting of knowledge, training as the imparting of skill and building as the imparting of character. The building process affects the whole personality. The building process seems to be the most difficult part of development.
The building process should cover four areas of the disciple’s life as we find in our Saviors life in Lk 2:52. They are
Stature – the physical
In Favor with God – the spiritual
In Favor with man – the social.
6.“There must be a proper balance love and rebuke.” Love and rebuke must go together. Proverb. 27:5-6
Says, “Open rebuke is better then secret love. Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.”
The author rightly says,” – if love is to come across as Biblical love, it must be blended with rebuke. The kind of people God can use are those who respond to such a blend; Jesus cannot use people who feel sorry for themselves when corrected.”
7.“You recruit a man to discipleship by being his servant.”
This seems to be the most difficult part of disciplining Process. But this is what we really need.
8..“You reproduce after your own kind whether you like it or not.”
We can hardly identify with Paul when he says, “Be ye followers of me. “ We are rather more prone to say. “Don’t follow me, follow Jesus Christ.” But the fact is that our disciple will follow us whether we want him or not. It is therefore, very important that we major on becoming the kind of person we want our disciple to become.
HOW TO TRAIN A DISCIPLE:
FOLLOW – UP
The first step in the disciple making process is evangelism then comes the follow-up. Follow-up to a new convert exactly tunes with the years of careful nurture and training of a mother to her child to ensure the growth and development of the child till he assume responsibility. According to the author. “Follow-up, then is spiritual pediatrics.” Spiritual pediatrics refers to the care and protect of the spiritual life of the newly born Christian until he grows and provides himself.
“Follow-up is then relating to the young Christian the loving concern” that our God has shown toward us”. Our God is not only a God. He is also “our Father”. Indeed, God has a father’s heart. The same attitude”, we should have for our new born babes. The other way of saying is that every matured Christian should assume the responsibility of becoming a spiritual father.
“Follow-up, then is nothing more and nothing less than parental concern coupled with common sense. The author has here put forward some basic guidelines how to help a new Christian reach maturity.
“Ensure Proper care and protection, and deal with any trouble areas.”
First of all, it must be ensured that the new babe knows God’s plan of salvation for him. He must be ensured that if “ --- he hath the Son hath life. “(I John 5:11). This is the assurance of Salvation that he must have.
The second thing which is the most important part of follow up is to pray for him. This seems to be the hardest work that a Christian can engage in. Another most important thing to ensure Proper care and protection is to “visit him (new Christian) soon and frequently after his decision for Christ.” He needs encouragement in his life. He must be able to feel that he has now become a part of the family.
Ensure a proper diet.
Proper spiritual diet is as much essential as that of the physical diet. The feeding of a proper food is then the responsibility of us. The author has explained at least two kinds of spiritual diets that a new Christian needs for his growth.
They are ---
A constant quiet time.
A constant quiet time means a solitary period of fellowship with God. Through this fellowship or relationship with God the believer gets his spiritual nourishment for the day. A quiet time with God includes the following –
Bible reading is another kind of spiritual food. I Pet 2:2 reads, “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby,” The new Christian should be taught to begin this habit with a small portion of the Bible, preferably N.T. or Psalms. One of the most important thing to teach a new Christian is how to make a self Bible study. Independent Bible study is a kind of self feeding from the word of God. To help a new babe how to feed himself and grow in the Lord is the most important goal of follow-up.
(f)Ensure love and affection.
Love and affection are the most basic psychological needs of human being. The same principle is applicable to our new born babes. They need to be loved and wanted.
This is one of the most essential things that a new Christian should have to grow up in our interpersonal relationship. “When following up a Christian, it is essential that he feels free to share his doubts, fears and personal problems no matter how intimate they may be, without feeling he will be condemned or rejected because of them”, Says the author. The ingredient of this atmosphere is “Love”..
HOW TO TRAIN A DISCIPLE:
Imparting the Basics
According to the author, disciple making ministry has five fold objectives as found in I These 1”: 5-10
They are as follows ---
Solid decisions for Christ.
The new disciple must be trained to make a solid decision for Christ.
They should be trained how to become disciples. It is important to learn how to follow the Lord by following the Lord’s people. Paul’s own life was an example which was consistent with the word of God and the leading of God Himself. It is important that the Lord’s people must be an example.
To be a Christian means to be a pacesetters or a showcase to others.
Christians should always be reproductive.
According to the author commitment involves four things –
Turning from idolatry.
A turning to the true God.
Service to God.
Expectation of Christ’s glorious return.
The Training Process of Discipleship.
The main objective is to direct the growth, to form, to discipline by bending and pruning like that of the growth of a plant. It means that the trainer must be able to help the new Christians maximize their potential for Christ. The trainer is a responsible person to provide the new man with a variety of training techniques. He can play the role of a guide. One of the main principles of discipleship is the help him” Continue in the word of God by means of Bible study and scripture memory.
In order to explain the basics of disciplining process the author has given all illustration which is used by the Navigators which is called the “wheel”. The wheel here represents the Christ centered, Spirit –filled Christian walking in obedience.
The Hub of the wheel” Jesus Christ is the hub of the wheel. As the hub provides power to move the wheel and gives direction for the wheel sow also does Jesus Christ to every person that believes in Him.
The Spokes of the wheel : The spokes of the wheel are ---
The word of God.
The author has restate4d the illustration of Dawson Trotman, the founder of the Navigators to illustrate how the word of God can be applicable to a Christian’s life. They are –
Prayer, prayer is the other side of the Christian life. Prayer and the study of the word play the balancing role in the Christian life. According to the author prayer is the skeleton while study of the word is the flesh. Without prayer our Christian life is only like a jelly fish. And without the study of the word, our Christian life is only a skeleton.
Witnessing : Witnessing is an integral part of our Christian life. Witnessing is probably the most difficult task for the Christians. Most of the Christians feel reluctant to witness out of fears of being rejected.
We need to understand that Evangelism is the work of God – not man’s. And it is the Holy Spirit that gives us the power to witness. Jesus became friends with “the publicans and sinners” and took opportunities to share the word of God. This should be the key to evangelism to every Christian. Witnessing should begin by establishing friendships with non- Christians.
“Fellowship around the word in prayer, with Christ as the center is a very important part of the Christian life.” Says the author. Fellowship plays an important part in our Christian life without which the Christian life could be disproportionate to the rest of the spokes.
In the wheel, every spoke is connected with the hub and the hub with the rim. In this same a way, the Christian is also connected with Jesus Christ like the spokes.
The Rim of the wheel:
The author goes on to the illustration of the rim of the wheel. The spokes have connected with the hub and the hub with the rim. The rim is the only contact that the hub can have with the world.
“The only Christ that the non – believing world can see is the Christ inside each Christian.”
It means that only through Christians the world can see Christ. It is therefore, important that the disciple of Christ should be trained how to transmit his faith to others. This training is in fact an opportunity to encourage the new disciple to begin his disciple making process with another person. This transmission process will help him in three things---
It will solidify his own convictions.
It provides laboratory for his own growth.
It makes him teachable and eager to learn.
According to the author, there are at lest 6 important points to remember in the disciple making ministry –
He new disciple must know that “he belongs to God.”
He must be able to know that you believe in him and have confidence in him.
Do not allow him to be dependent upon you.
Allow him the freedom to fail.
Teach him how to evaluate men.
Seek to instill confidence.
Making of disciples is not a matter of time. It may take years together. Disciples cannot be made through a series of lectures and training. “Each one is molded and fashioned individually by the Spirit of God.”
HOW TO TRAIN A DISCIPLE
Conviction and perspective.
Faith has been defined as “believing the promises of God and acting on them. It is also” obeying the promises of God.” Without the promises of God. Our faith is presumption. According to the author, faith has two kinds of basis.
We must have conviction on what we believe, ie, the promises of God. The author has cited the example of Moses, how he refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter as he was come to year (Heb 11:24). Because of his conviction on God’s promises, Moses chose to suffer affliction with the people of God rather than enjoying the pleasures of sin and forsook Egypt.
A new Christian prays and goes to the church or does the other things not because of his own personal convictions but as because others have suggested him. But as he grows up to maturity he does not act like this but he does act on his own personal conviction. This conviction is an important element in Christian life.
In disciple training, conviction and method go together. But what is more important is conviction. The author says,
“The person who has methods without conviction is like a bouquet of cut flowers –he is impressive to look at, but he will not last.”
“Conviction” and “Perspective” – they are known as the two arch stones in training of disciple making.
Perspective is knowing the end from the beginning. It is knowing the ultimate results based on God’s Promises. Conviction and perspective are the two important elements of Christian life” the two arch stones” as the author has said it which also characterized the life of Moses. They are in fact the most important aspects of the training process of disciple making.
Conviction and perspective come from God. The Psalmist says. “Except the Lord build the houses, they labor in vain that build it; except the Lord keep the city the watchman waketh but in vain.” 127:1
“Training begins and ends with God” says the author. Unless God works in us, we labor in vain. But though God imparts conviction of perspective, we have our responsibilities. The author has mentioned four guided lines that can help us in exercising our responsibility. They are –
Major in principles rather than method.
Principles and methods –both are important. We cannot exclude one from the other. But in building conviction and perspective, principle is more important. The author cites the example of Jesus’ parable of the sower (LK B). Here Jesus tells His followers why the seed is sown, what takes and when but He does not say how to sow the seed.
“Convictions are built, not by practicing the method, but by understanding the principle.” Says the author.
A new disciple develop convictions by probing into the whys of what he has done or what is done.
(2) “Major in meeting the needs of others rather than in development and imparting techniques.”
Techniques are important but we need to know how to meet the needs of others, Jesus began His ministry by meeting the need of the man He approached. Many Christians emphasize training in a class room situation giving more importance to methods or techniques rather than meeting out the needs of people.
“Major in developing the thought process rather than the skills.”
What we are talking about here has to do with the imparting of character – the changing of a person’s sense of values.” Says the author. It is important that the disciples understand their sense of values and their whole outlook on life. They should major in the philosophy of life into conformity with the Bible with convictions and perspective rather than mere acquiring of skills.
“Major in how to trust God rather than teach in theories about God.”
Theories without practice in real sense is not good at all. It is like faith without conviction. The author has cited the parable of the Sower in LK 13 which can be called as “The Parable of the Four soils” or the parable of the Four Responses to God’s word. A disciple of Christ must learn how to trust God rather than learn mere theories about God. Jesus always talked about faith and taught about faith in the real life situation giving His disciples an opportunity to see what it means to walk by faith.
GIFTS AND CALLING
All Christians have some of the gifts of the Spirit. But no Christian has all of the gifts. It is important to know that gifts are designed for the edification of the Body of Christ. Different persons have different gifts. Since no one has all the gifts, it is necessary that all the brothers and sisters should come together with their respective gifts to complement the rest of the body. This is God’s formula for unity. And in fact, gifts are designed for unity.
Paul’s analysis of the gifts in I Cor 12: is remarkable one. We can see here the distribution and diversity of the gifts of the Spirit.
In disciple making process, it is important to note two things to help a disciple,
How to determine what his gifts are.
How his gifts can be used in accomplishing the objective of making disciples.
It is also important to make him understand that God has made his gifts available through the cross of Jesus Christ to fulfill his responsibility to appropriate through the cross of Christ.
The author says.
“The Spirit’s endowment of specific gifts to each believer means that each has a uniquely significant place in the Body and complete dependence upon every other believer.”
God has not granted any gift to anybody solely for his own personal use and edification. The gift, whatever may be its degree is granted for the edification of the Body of Christ. In Paul’s illustration in I Cor 12, we see when one of the limbs, for example, the leg, is imputed, it cannot function well as it could before. Thus we say that the body is handicapped.
We need to understand if a person’s gifts are not being properly utilized for the well being of the whole Body, he will not feel a part of the body and thus it will also retard the growth of the body.
Discovering Your Gifts
Every believer should be able to discover the gifts that he has and utilize them for he well being of the body, ie, the church. In the disciple making process the duty of the disciple maker is to help new disciples discover their gifts. The author has forwarded few suggestions in this regard –-
Help a new disciple get him involved with people and discover himself his gifts.
Help him exercise the gift he thinks he has.
Help him exercise the potential gift in front of the people. Let the people make an honest evaluation.
The Gifts and calling of God always go hand in hand. Therefore, it is important to know that the calling in one’s life must be in harmony with the gift he has. There are many Christians who say they have a calling but are not sure of their gifts.
“The disciple’s life is a fulfilling one because he is involved in the most satisfying and exciting thing life affords namely, being involved in transforming people into the image of Jesus Christ.” Says the author.
However, this fulfillment in life will be possible only when his life is in accordance with the way God has made for him.
MULTIPLYING YOUR EFFORTS.
The Principle of Multiplicaion.
Multiplication is regarded as one of the fundamental laws of the Universe. Animals, plants and every growing thing, depend on the principle of multiplication. And this is God’s principle.
In Gen 1:28, God said to the man,
“---Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth ---“ But there is a great cost in multiplication. And the cost is dead. Jesus gives an illustration of the grain. He says in John 12:24.
“Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone, but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.”
Another cost of multiplication is that it is initially slower than the process of addition. The author gives the following example.
A gifted evangelist may win 1000 people to Christ in a day. If he does so, in a year, he will win in 365,000 people which is very phenomenal indeed. On the other hand, let us take the example of a disciple will lead only one person to Christ in a year. But he has not only lead the man to Christ but also disciple him so that he can disciple another one. So at the end of the year the new disciple will also lead another man to Christ and thus the number will go up to two. If the process goes on, at the end of the second year we will have four people and at the end of 3rd year we will have eight. So every consecutive year, the rate of growth will be doubled. It is interesting to note that if the number of disciples increases at the rate of doubling every year, the number will overtake the evangelist somewhere in the 19th year. This could be unbelievable but it is true in the process of multiplication.
The process of multiplication however does not deny the need of the ministry of an evangelist. But the truth is that through mass evangelism we can hardly complete the task of reaching a lost and dying world. Because, evangelism does not make disciples, it simply makes converts – a mass product.
The Logic of Multiplication
Quality is the key to Multiplication. It is not the quantity, but quality that we need. Jesus had hundreds of followers but He selected only 12 so that he could effectively train them for a divine purpose. Multiplication process requires proper training of faithful men who can carry out the same process to succeeding generations. Paul’s advice to Timothy is very significant,
“And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.” 2 Tim 2:2.
In his saying four generations are clearly seen. They are Paul, Timothy, faithful men and others also. This kind of training is very important in the disciplining process.
Disciplining ministry is God’s ministry. It is not just a ministry of an organization of the church. It began in God’s own heart. As he set up the spiritual propagation of the human race, he also set up the spiritual propagation of the human souls on the basis of multiplying process.
CHOOSING A LIFE OBJECIVE
We need to have aims and objectives in life. Many Christians live a life without direction, aim or objective. The author emphasizes that every Christian must choose a life objective. When we come to an age where we have nothing but death to look forward to or nothing but memories to look back, could we say, “My life was a success?”
Jesus could answer positively. For He had said, ‘I have glorified Thee on the earth, I have finished the work which Thou gavest Me to do.” John 17:4
There was another man in the Bible who could positively claim the success he had achieved. It was Paul the Apostle. He said, “I have fought a good fight; henceforth there is laid for me a crown of righteousness, which Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day,” 2 Tim 4:7-8
Since his college life the author was also looking for a purpose and meaning in life. Then he became an engineering major. As a civil engineer his objective was to build bridges, dams and roads until he ran across 2 pet 3:10 that reads,
“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are there in shall be burnt up.” The verse came as a shock to him. The question that disturbed his mind was, “Why give all my time and effort to build something which God had already said that He will burn?”
When he was grappling with this question he came to realize that there must be some purpose, some meaning, some direction for life. As he continued his search for purpose God showed him his way in John 5:28-29
“Marvel not at this : for the hour is coming in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”
The author says here,
“I wanted something enduring that I could grab hold of and give my life in exchange for. In setting my life’s objectives, I could give myself to people and the word of God, and know that God was not going to follow me and burn them up.”
In today’s world people are looking for life’s objective which is short lived and dying. This does not however mean that we should not become a teacher, house wife, businessman or build bridges and dams but the most important thing is that we know the perfect will of God for our life. As a children of God what we need to understand that “God Almighty has chosen people for His inheritance.”
There are people in this world who give their lives in exchange for money, for property or a host of other things. But God says these things are going burn. But God has more fantastic promise for us in heaven which remain forever. So we should give our life in exchange for these things which are eternal. And we should give our life in exchange for people.
Is 58:10-12 says,
“And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul, then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday. And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones; and thou shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places. Thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, “The repairer of the breach, the restorer of paths to dwell in.”
How precise is God’s promise! And how precise is such a life who invests his life in people!
Jesus also said,
“For whosoever will save his life shall lose it, but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it,”
Indeed, “----------- there is no greater objective in life than to give yourself for others” says the author.
Watter A. Henrichsen’s “Disciples are made not born” is indeed superb so far as the value of the book is concerned. The book is full of spiritual assets and principles for a Christian which are not mere theories but eminently practical. It is an eye opener to those born Christians who are not disciples. It is also a kind of real hand book for every true disciple of Christ. God has a purpose with every body’s life. Every Christian must be able to grasp this purpose of God for him and find his objective in life with a perspective. The purpose of God is clear in the word of God which is made available to every body. The author has hinted out that we are not to live a life which is self oriented and selfish. Today there are many Christians but few disciples. This is indeed grieving to God’s heart. God has called us with a dignified calling to live for man and for him. This is the legacy of our Lord Jesus and the magna Charta of the church. In order to fulfill this legacy of our Lord, the church must be committed to the multiple disciple making process.
There is no greater joy and “no greater objective in life than to give yourself for others.” This is what the author has emphasized in his book. I strongly feel this book is a ‘MUST READ’ book for every Christian specially for those who are in leadership.
“DISCIPLES ARE MADE
AN OUT- LINE
1.The kind of person God uses.
(i)Adopts God’s objectives.
(ii)Willing to pay any price to have the will of God.
(iii)Has a love for the word of God.
(iv)Has a servant heart.
(v)Puts no confidence in the flesh.
(vi)Does not have an independent spirit.
(vii)Has a love for people.
(viii)Does not allow himself to become trapped in bitterness.
(ix)Has learned to discipline his life.
2.Jesus as Lord.
A. Why we do not want to acknowledge Christ as Lord.
(i)He may ask us to do something that we do not want to do.
(ii)We think we know what is best for us.
(iii)We are not sure that God has our best interests at heart.
B.What it means to acknowledge Him as Lord.
(i)Knowing God as our Father.
(ii)Surrendering your name.
(iii)Seeking Christ’s kingdom.
(iv)Seeking His will.
(v)Having hope in him.
(vi)Involving in receiving and giving.
--- a mutual commitment
(vii)Believing in His deliverance.
c. Why does Jesus want to be our Lord ?
(i) He loves us.
(ii) He wants to get involved in our lives.
3.The cost of Discipleship.
(i) Discipleship has been designed by God to help us out.
(ii) Discipleship is our opportunity to tap the infinite resources of God.
(i)The disciple is one Who in every area of his life determines from the Bible.
(ii)The disciple is one who in constant touch with people in need.
(iii)The disciple is one who has learned to love by giving and dying.
(iv)The disciple is one who is in tune with the voice of the Spirit of God.
4.A Proper View of God and Man.
(i)The nature and character of God.
(ii)The nature and character of man.
5.Evangelism and the Disciple.
(i)Picking the Opportunity
(ii)Principles in Evangelism
(iii)Passion to do the job.
6.Recruiting a Perspective Disciple.
(i)Recruit to a vision.
(ii)Recruit faithful men.
(iii)Grow into business don’t go into business.
(iv)Tailor the job to the person not the person to the job.
(v)Develop the whole man.
(vi)A proper balance between love and rebuke.
(vii)Recruit a man to discipleship by being his servant.
(viii)Reproduce after your own kind.
TRAINING OF A DISCIPLE
(i)Ensure proper care and protection.
(ii)Ensure a proper diet.
(iii)Ensure love and affection.
(iv)Ensure an atmosphere of acceptance.
8.Imparting the Basics.
(i)The Training Process.
(ii)What are the Basics ?
(iii)The Hub of the wheel.
(iv)The Spokes of he wheel.
(v)The Rim of he wheel.
(vi)Helping Him to transmit to others
(vii)Things to remember in disciplining men.
9.Conviction and perspective.
10.Gifts and calling.
(i)The purpose and importance of your gifts.
(ii)Discovering your gifts.
(iii)The gifts and calling of God.
11.Multiplying your Efforts.
(i)The principle of multiplication.
(ii)Quality is the key to multiplication.
(iii)Biblical illustration of multiplication.
12.Choosing a life objective.
Name of the Author of this article: Dr. Surya Kumar Daimari, MA,M.Ed, PGDTE,D.Min.(Doctor of Ministry)
The author is a freelance writer.