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Discipleship Tree

Discipleship Tree

“Every church needs to be able to answer two questions.  One, do we have a plan for making disciples?  Two, does our plan work?  Dallas Willard

Very few people in church or Young Life ministry would disagree with the statement that the ultimate goal of what we do is to make disciples.  Jesus final charge to His disciples in Matthew 28:19-20 makes this pretty clear.  But statistics tell us that fewer and fewer people are retaining their faith later in life than ever before let alone becoming disciples who in turn make other disciples.  I think it is a good exercise for us all to ask the question Dallas Willard poses above about making disciples.  What is our plan and is it working?   We shouldn’t be afraid to ask and evaluate what we are doing because there is nothing more important or urgent than seeing people discover Jesus in a real way that transforms their life and sets them on a journey of bringing God’s Kingdom to earth.

Jesus was very intentional with the time he spent on this earth once He began His public ministry.  As David Platt states,
If the Son of God thought it necessary to focus his life on a small group of men, we are fooling ourselves to think we can mass-produce disciples today. 

We want to do our best to model our ministry after how Christ walked with His disciples.  
Who Are Your 3?   We want to model, teach and train every leader in the simple principle of 3-12-50.    Jesus had 3 disciples Peter, James and John who He was constantly pulling out for special ministry moments and who was especially vulnerable with.  We probably can’t live with our disciples 24/7 like Jesus did but are there 3 who you pray for every day?  Are there 3 who hear from you 3-4 times a week in a simple text or face to face?  Are there 3 who know that you believe they can and will do great things for the Kingdom and that you are currently training to have their own 3?

Invest In A Core!  Jesus also modeled having another 9 disciples who got a lot of His time and who saw up close what His life and ministry was all about.   Do have another group of kids that you meet weekly with?  Kids you are praying for weekly and are hearing from you multiple times a week and who also know your heart for Christ and your desire for them to fully pursue and serve Him.  

Like Christ, we will also come in contact with many other kids, who we will know their names, see at club or school and will watch us from a distance.   We are always looking for opportunities to draw these kids into our group of 12 who we can challenge to be disciples who make disciples.  

Below is a simple tool (one in pages for Mac users and the other in Word for PC users) we encourage every leader to use and view on a daily basis.  Have a plan, evaluate the plan and have the plan mimic what Jesus did.