Not a Program, A Way of Life

By: Jerry D. Porter

“To make Christlike disciples in the nations” is not a program; it is a way of life. Each Nazarene should answer two questions: Who is discipling you? Whom are you discipling?

I have adapted these gold nugget principles from Mike Henderson:

Help your family and friends to follow Jesus.

Always remember the goal: Christlikeness. How do you carve an elephant? Cut away everything that is not the elephant!

Learn to listen.

As preachers and teachers, we are often poor disciplers because we do not listen. What the disciple says may be more important than what the discipler says. Let silence do the heavy lifting. The more emotional the issue, the more difficult the steps, the more silence is needed. If necessary, ask probing questions; a good question is worth a thousand words.

Great leaders come out of great friendships.

Who are your friends? How often do you get together? “More is accomplished in one hour of close conversation than ten hours of preaching” (John Wesley). Discipleship is about genuine love. “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends”  (John 15:13, NIV).

God’s Word is all the equipment you need.

“The word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12, NIV). Teach people to be taught by the Holy Spirit. We are not the Teacher. Our disciples are taught daily by the Holy Spirit.

Our passion to be Christlike—and to make Christlike disciples who make Christlike disciples—is not a program or a curriculum, it is a way of life. It is an intentional, relational, mutually-empowering, lifelong Jesus pilgrimage!

“The essential thing ‘in heaven and earth’ is … that there should be a long obedience in the same direction; there thereby results, and has always resulted in the long run, something which has made life worth living.”

— Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil

Not a program, a way of life. Making Christlike disciples is an essential component of that “long obedience in the same direction.”

“Jesus said, ‘I will build my church … you make disciples.’ Many of us, however, are attempting to build the church while few are making disciples.” — Michael Henderson

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