As we follow Christ, he transforms our minds, our desires, our wills, our relationships, and our ultimate reason for living. Every disciple of Jesus exists to make disciples of Jesus, here and among every people group on the planet. There are no spectators. We are all born to reproduce the life of Christ in others. So how are you going to reproduce?
The purpose in asking this question is to spur you on to consider how the life of Christ in you might be multiplied through you in the world. That’s what this Personal Disciple-Making Plan below is all about. (See the link at the bottom for a free download of this Personal Disciple-Making Plan, which includes space to answer the questions under each of the six main headings above.) Don’t feel like you need to come up with new and creative things to do in response to each of the questions. It is helpful with many questions simply to identify normal patterns of Christian obedience that may already be present in your life. In the end, these questions are not exhaustive, but they are essential. Our hope and prayer is that they will serve us as we consider what it means to be disciples of Jesus and make disciples of Jesus.
1. How Will I Fill My Mind with Truth?
The life of the disciple is the life of a learner. We constantly attune our ears to the words of our Master. As He teaches us through His Word, He transforms us in the world. Consider a plan for reading, memorizing, and learning God’s Word, but don’t forget that disciples do these things not merely for information, but for transformation. Our goal as disciples is never just to believe God’s Word; our goal is to obey God’s Word. So as you plan to fill your mind with truth, purpose to follow the One Who is Truth.
- How will I read God’s Word?
- How will I memorize God's Word?
- How will I learn God's Word from others?
2. How Will I Fuel My Affections for God?
There is a dangerous tendency for discipline in the disciple’s life to become mechanical and monotonous. Our aim is not simply to know God; our aim is to love God, and the more we read His Word, the more we delight in His glory. Our aim in other spiritual disciplines is similar. As we worship, pray, fast, and give, we fuel affection for God. It is impossible to separate true faith in Christ from profound feelings for Christ. So as disciples of Jesus, we intentionally worship, pray, fast, and give in order to fuel affection for God.
- How will I worship?
- How will I pray?
- How will I fast?
- How will I give?
3. How Will I Share God’s Love as a Witness in the World?
God’s will in the world and for our lives is to spread His gospel, grace, and glory to all peoples. Instead of asking what God’s will is for our lives, disciples of Jesus ask, “How can my life align with His will for me to be His witness in the world?” Every person that God has graciously put around you is a sinner eternally in need of a Savior. You were once that person, yet someone intentionally sought you out to share the gospel with you. And now this is the purpose for which God has graciously created, saved, and blessed you. So with the Word of God in your mouth and the Spirit of God in your heart, end your quest to find God’s will by deciding today to follow it.
4. How Will I Show God’s Love as a Member of a Church?
The Bible flies in the face of American individualism and church consumerism, prompting followers of Christ to ask the question, “Am I committed to a local church where I am sharing life with other followers of Christ in mutual accountability under biblical leadership for the glory of God?” To follow Christ is to love His church. It is biblically, spiritually, and practically impossible to be a disciple of Christ (much less make disciples of Christ) apart from total devotion to a family of Christians.
5. How Will I Spread God’s Glory among All Peoples?
The eternal purpose of God is to save people through Christ. The clear commission of Christ for every single disciple is to make disciples not just generally, but of all nations. So regardless of where you live, how is your life going to impact every nation, tribe, tongue, and people in the world? This is not a question for extraordinary missionaries; this is a question for ordinary disciples. God wants His will to be accomplished through us more than we do. And as we follow Him, He will lead us to the people, places, and positions where we can most effectively make disciples of all nations for the glory of His name.
- How will I pray for the nations?
- How will I give to the nations?
- How will I go to the nations?
6. How Will I Make Disciple-Makers among a Few People?
Jesus spent his life investing in a few people. His strategy for reaching all peoples was clear: make disciple-makers among a few people. God will lead us to live in all kinds of different places in the world. Yet regardless of where we live, the task we have is the same. No Christian is excused from the command to make disciples, and no Christian would want to escape this command. So every one of us looks around and asks, “How will I make disciple-makers among a few people?”
- How will I bring them in?
- How will I teach them to obey?
- How will I model obedience?
- How will I send them out?
No child of God is intended by God to be sidelined as a spectator in the Great Commission. Every child of God has been invited by God to be on the front lines of the supreme mission in all of history. Every disciple of Jesus has been called, loved, created, and saved to make disciples of Jesus who make disciples of Jesus who make disciples of Jesus until the grace of God is enjoyed and the glory of God is exalted among every people group on the planet. Making a personal plan for how we are going to join God in His mission is a huge step in joyfully experiencing the fullness of His grace in our lives as we join Him in His mission for the world.
* See below for the free download of this Personal Disciple-Making Plan.
David Platt is the president of the International Mission Board (IMB) and founder of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Follow Me, and Counter Culture.