What would it look like if Greater Springfield was full of active disciples of Jesus? Not just people who believe in Jesus (or even that He died on a cross and was resurrected), but followers of Jesus. As I ask this question, you might be thinking, “There’s no difference between a believer and a disciple.” And I would agree that there shouldn’t be a difference between a believer and a disciple, but unfortunately, there is.
So what is a disciple? Author and pastor Jim Putman defines a disciple using Matthew 4:19 where Jesus said, “…follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Taking Jesus’ invitation into account, Putman says that a disciple is someone who 1) Follows Jesus, 2) Is changed by Jesus, and 3) Joins Jesus in His mission of fishing for men. Someone can say they believe in Jesus, but if they’re not following Him, continually being changed by Him, and fishing for men, we have to ask if they are actually His disciple.
Scripture teaches is that not only are we to be disciples of Jesus who fish for others so they might come to know Christ as their personal Savior, but we are also to help them mature to the point that they become spiritual parents to others. Paul instructs His son in the faith, Timothy with these words, “…what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.” So we see that we are not simply to become mature in our own faith, we are to become spiritual parents. We are to make disciples who will, in turn, make disciples. This is God’s plan for the growth ofHis Kingdom on Earth.
Imagine what our city would look like if every believer did this. It would be amazing wouldn’t it?! Let me ask you, “Are you making disciples?”
This month in our newsletter we feature a ministry whose aim is to do this work with men. The Gathering of Miami Valley is aiming to “Connect Men to Men and Men to God.” They are trying to make disciples who make disciples. Be encouraged and inspired by their example.