Ridiculously Simple: 3 Ways to Make Disciples
Disciple making is a crucial aspect of Christianity, but it can be challenging to know how to go about it. Many churches and Christian organizations have developed different methods to make disciples, and in this article, we’ll explore 3 ways to make disciples.
These three obedience-based methods are: the Three Circles Gospel Tool, the Three Thirds Process, and the 12 Practice Church Circle. We’ll break down each of these methods and provide step-by-step guides on how to make disciples using them.
Before diving into the methods themselves, it’s essential to understand what disciple making is and why it’s important.
Disciple making is the process of helping someone become a follower of Jesus Christ and teaching them to obey His commands. As Christians, we are called to make disciples, as Jesus commands us in Matthew 28:19-20, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
What does it mean to multiply disciples?
- Multiplying disciples refers to the process of intentionally reproducing and equipping followers of Jesus to make new disciples, who in turn do the same. It involves sharing the gospel, teaching biblical principles, and empowering others to continue the cycle of disciple-making.
Why do we need to multiply disciples?
- We need to multiply disciples because it is the biblical mandate given by Jesus in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20). By multiplying disciples, we fulfill the mission of reaching more people with the gospel, experiencing spiritual growth, and advancing God's kingdom on earth.
Where in the Bible does it say to make more disciples?
- The command to make more disciples can be found in Matthew 28:19-20, where Jesus instructs his followers to "go and make disciples of all nations." This commission highlights the importance of multiplying disciples as a central task for every believer.
What is the spiritual vision of multiplication?
- The spiritual vision of multiplication is to see a movement of multiplying disciples take place, where communities are transformed by the power of the gospel and new disciples are continually being made. It involves a commitment to God's kingdom expansion and the holistic transformation of individuals, families, and societies.
What Bible verse says to multiply?
- While the specific word "multiply" may not be used, the concept of multiplication and making more disciples is emphasized in various passages of the Bible. One such verse is 2 Timothy 2:2, where Paul instructs Timothy to entrust what he has learned to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. This verse highlights the idea of multiplication and the importance of passing on the teachings of Christ to subsequent generations.
Frequently Asked Questions
With a few basic questions answered on discipleship and multiplying disciples, lets dive into 3 ways to make disciples.
The Three Circles Gospel Tool
The Three Circles Gospel Tool (Click here to view Google Slides) is a simple way to share the Gospel and make disciples. It involves drawing three circles, with the first circle representing God’s design, the second circle representing sin, and the third circle representing the Gospel.
The idea is to help the person you’re sharing with understand that God created everything good, but sin has corrupted the world, and the only way to be saved is through the Gospel.
Step 1: Draw three circles. Start with a blank piece of paper and draw three circles. The three circles together form a circle representing the process of God bringing us back to His original design.
Step 2: Explain the first circle. The first circle represents God’s design. Explain that God created everything good and perfect, and He designed us to have a relationship with Him.
Step 3: Explain the second circle. The second circle represents sin. Explain that sin entered the world when Adam and Eve disobeyed God, and it has corrupted everything. Sin separates us from God, and there’s nothing we can do to fix it on our own.
Step 4: Explain the third circle. The third circle represents the Gospel. Explain that the Gospel is the good news that God sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins. When we repent of our sins and put our faith in Jesus, we can be saved and have eternal life.
Step 5: Share your testimony. After explaining the Gospel, share your testimony with the person you’re talking to. Explain how you became a Christian and what Jesus has done in your life.
Step 6: Invite them to respond. After sharing your testimony, invite the person to respond to the Gospel. Ask if they would like to pray with you and accept Jesus as their Savior.
The Three Thirds Bible Study Process
The Three Thirds Bible Study process is a disciple making method that involves three parts: looking back, looking up, and looking ahead. The idea is to reflect on what God has done in the past, worship Him in the present through His Word, and plan for the future.
Here is the format of a three thirds Bible study as laid out by the creators, Ying and Grace Kai (T4T).
FIRST THIRD (Look back)
Worship—A time to praise God and to focus on Him through song, prayer, reading Scripture, etc.
Pastoral Care—A time for trainers to ask “How are you doing?” and to minister to the needs of the people in the group. People are encouraged to share a personal highlight and a challenge from the previous week.
Accountability—A time to ask appropriate questions about how our trainees have followed what Jesus taught them and how they did in fishing for men. These questions should be progressive in nature so as to help each person move forward in this area of fishing. A good question for following might be: How did you do in obeying the lesson from last week? Appropriate fishing questions might start with “Who did you witness to last week and who believed? And progress to “When are you training the new believers?” “How are these new believers doing in their witnessing?” “When are they training those new believers?”
Vision-Casting—A time to share words of encouragement to not give up on the journey. Use stories from the Bible that call us to obedience in living out the Great Commission.
MIDDLE THIRD (Look Up)
New Lesson—This is the time to present a new lesson from the Scriptures. The goal here is to give enough biblical content for the trainees to obey and then pass on to others.
Practice—This is the time to prepare trainees to go back into their world and live out what they have learned. Allow enough practice time for them to feel competent and confident to share the new lesson. It is also helpful to do a talk-through or role-play of what they might experience. Practice not only the lesson content but also the parts of the three-thirds process.
FINAL THIRD (Look Forward)
Set Goals & Pray—A time for each person to set measurable goals for the upcoming week. Remember to have them set goals for both following and fishing and to write them down. Never close the training session without praying for each person in the group.
The Church Circle
The church circle (Click here to view Google Slides) is indeed an effective model for short-term discipleship stories that can be used to train disciples to obey Jesus and identify as a church around the practice of those stories that correspond to the passage in Acts 2:36-47.
Here are some reasons why:
1. Reproducible – The church circle story set is easily reproducible, making it ideal for short-term discipleship. Anyone can start a gathering with a few friends or family members and begin practicing the short term discipleship stories of obedience-based discipleship in it.
2. Relational – This model is highly relational, emphasizing the importance of building relationships with other believers. This is crucial for short-term discipleship because it creates a sense of community and accountability.
3. Practical – The story set is practical and focused on the basics of discipleship. It is designed to help new believers understand and practice the essential teachings of Jesus, making it ideal for short-term discipleship.
4. Biblical – The short term discipleship model that the church circle represents is based on the principles of the early church, as outlined in Acts 2:36-47. By modeling their practices, the church circle helps new believers to identify as part of the larger church community.
5. Accountable – The church circle model emphasizes accountability, which is critical for short-term discipleship. The group provides a safe space for new believers to share their struggles and receive support and encouragement from other members.
The church circle model is an effective way to model short-term discipleship stories that can be used to train disciples to obey Jesus and identify as a church around the practice of those stories that correspond to the passage in Acts 2:36-47.
It is reproducible, relational, practical, biblical, and accountable, making it an ideal tool for short-term discipleship.
How did Jesus Make Disciples?
Jesus’ ministry on earth was marked by his intentional focus on making disciples.
He modeled and assisted his disciples in sharing the Gospel, looking for obedient responders, and began to model the practices of church even before the church was birthed in Acts 2:36-47.
One of the ways Jesus made disciples was through his own personal example. He spent time with his disciples, teaching them through his actions and words.
Jesus modeled a life of obedience to God, and he encouraged his disciples to do the same. He also taught them how to share the Gospel with others, using parables and real-life examples to illustrate his teachings.
Another way Jesus made disciples was through his intentional focus on looking for the obedient responders.
He recognized that not everyone was ready or willing to follow him, and he encouraged his disciples to focus on those who were receptive to their message. Jesus demonstrated this when he sent out his disciples to share the Gospel in Matthew 10. He instructed them to look for “prepared” people, those who would receive their message and respond in obedience.
Church before “Church?”
Finally, Jesus began to model the practices of the church even before the church was birthed in Acts 2:36-47. He gathered a group of disciples around him, and he taught them to pray, to worship, and to serve others. He also modeled the importance of fellowship and community, encouraging his disciples to love and care for one another.
In short, Jesus’ approach to making disciples was marked by intentional focus on modeling, assisting, and looking for obedient responders.
He also began to model the practices of the church even before the church was birthed in Acts 2:36-47. By following his example, we too can become more effective in making disciples and growing in our faith.
Making disciples is an essential aspect of the Christian faith, but it can be challenging to know where to start. The Three Circles Gospel Tool, the Three Thirds Process, and the 12 Practice Church Circle are three obedience-based methods that can help guide you in making disciples.
Whether you’re sharing the Gospel with someone for the first time or building a community of believers, these methods can help you grow in your faith and help others do the same.
Remember, making disciples is not a one-time event but an ongoing process that requires commitment, perseverance, and the power of the Holy Spirit.
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