2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
What is discipleship and how can we do it more effectively? These are 2 of the questions often asked and answered by many churches, Christian ministries, and mission organizations. The challenge though is that if you were to survey different churches or missionary organizations they would say that they are committed to discipleship, but their methods for producing disciples would most likely vary from each other. Some will stress the importance of a 1 on 1 discipleship, others may focus on small groups or cell groups, whereas others may promote teaching and training offered through conferences, DVD courses, and church programs.
In evaluating the different approaches to discipleship making, we would most likely find the same principles on discipleship, just expressed and taught in a different way. But if we were to ask each of the different discipleship ministries how to do discipleship more effectively, I wonder if each of them would say that their methods are the most biblical and therefore the most effective way to go about making disciples. In light of this, one must wonder, is there one way of discipleship making which is the best way, and if so, then does that make all the other methods wrong? I do not believe that there is only one correct way to make disciples for Christ (and yes some ways may be more effective due to their biblical foundation), but I would argue that any discipleship making method, which is committed to what is taught in Scripture, can be an effective way to train disciples.
The focus though must be on what the Bible teaches, and how a believer in Christ can first begin to live out those truths in their own lives and then begin teaching those same truths to others so that they too can also live out all that God has commanded His disciples. Basically I am saying that Biblical Discipleship requires that believers must first submit to the Lordship of Christ and then commit to learning and faithfully living out the truths taught within Scripture. By doing this they are identified as disciples of Christ and only then can continue the work committed to them by their Lord and Savior which is to make disciples of His. They can go about the process of making disciples by loving people and leading them to Christ so that they too can learn and live out biblical truths in humble submission to Christ’s Lordship. If those who are disciples of Christ commit to the truths taught within the Bible, then they will not only grow in their life in Christ, but will also be able to help other believers in Christ mature as disciples of His, both here in Southeast Asia as well as throughout all other nations.
This year at the 2016 SEANG Conference held in Bangkok, Thailand, there will be a seminar which will focus on the sufficiency of Scripture and its truths, which are able to teach and train disciples of Christ, so that they can be adequately equipped to go and make disciples for Christ from all the nations, by His authority, and for God’s glory. Almost every church, missionary organization, and discipleship training ministry knows and teaches on the great Commission recorded for us in Matthew 28:18-20. The aim of this seminar is to explore deeper into the pages of Scripture for the purpose of showing how other passages such as: Romans 15:14, 1 Corinthians 11:1, Galatians 6:1-3, Colossians 1:28-29, 1 Thessalonians 5:14, and 2 Timothy 3:16-17 are also key truths which disciples of Christ must learn and live out in their lives, if they hope to be faithful to their Lord’s command for them to go and make more disciples of His, by loving them and leading them to Christ.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. We hope that you can join us at this year’s conference. Any response to this post will be helpful as we plan to study together how Scripture is sufficient in the ministry of making disciples of Christ, for God’s glory, and the growth of His church.