Making Disciples is an exciting new, yet richly old way of talking about discipleship and spiritual formation for individuals, small groups and churches. Personal discipleship is about moving closer to what Jesus wants for us in every area of our lives. When Jesus was asked what was the greatest commandment, he responded, “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, love your neighbour as yourself.” [Luke 10:27]. Discipleship and spiritual formation is the surrendering of all things to the love and will of God.
We have broken that down into three areas - loving God with our heads, hearts, and hands.
Making Disciples has been designed as a diagnostic tool to help us explore the whole of our lives through these three areas. Taking the assessment tool will allow you to personally explore your discipleship shape. To follow this up get a copy of Making Disciples workbook and walk through an apprenticeship process of surrender and new life.
for church leaders
The discipleship shape of the church we attend and lead will shape the kind of follower of Jesus we grow. While many churches are excellent at what they do, it may well be that they have discipleship blind spots that are forming disciples who also have blind spots. Making Disciples is a diagnostic tool to help the church look at whole life discipleship of individuals, groups and whole communities.
In John 10:10 Jesus said he came so we, “may have life, and have it to the full”. Making Disciples is about giving individuals and churches time to reflect upon the whole of their lives and show areas of strength as well as areas of struggle or stagnation in their faith walk so that we might be disciples living life fully for Jesus.
Within the church we can talk about discipleship and the area of spiritual formation. Different churches will prefer to talk about spiritual formation rather than discipleship and others will struggle with the topic of spiritual formation as a separate discipline from discipleship. In Making Disciples we are encouraging a new yet traditional take on language that brings about growth in all areas of a follower’s life. In ‘Discipleship Formation’ the aim is to bring together both the general understanding of discipleship with the general understanding of spiritual formation to a fuller understanding. It is only when these two merge that we get a biblical picture of Jesus’ understanding of discipleship and formation.
For the full development of a Jesus disciple, there is much more going on than a simple spiritual life. Discipleship formation is the coming together of the external activity of the life of Jesus at work in a person and the disciplines of the internal life set out to create a holy forming rhythm.
Spiritual disciplines are the things we do both as individuals and also within a community. They create and strengthen the rhythms that shape our internal life so that it looks more like Jesus.
Spiritual activity is putting into practice the activities of the Kingdom of God, that either stimulate or create the Kingdom of God on earth.
Discipleship formation is the coming together of our internal shaping and our external activity thus forming us into the likeness of Jesus. It is the following and copying of Jesus’ ways and the submission of our heads, hands and hearts to the will and activity of God. Our discipleship formation cannot be brought about in isolation from other believers; it needs to be realised within a community as we support and encourage one another in our journey. It also needs the power of the Holy Spirit bringing about revelation, transformation and recreation.
If you want to host a Making Disciples training morning/day or have a speaker come to your church weekend, we can help. We have speakers available to train your team to use Making Disciples, teach on discipleship and spiritual formation with whole churches as well as speak with church leaders in smaller settings. We can also offer a church diagnostic and framework for ‘discipleship action planning’ in helping churches move into intentional discipleship.
For more information please contact the Making Disciples team at firstname.lastname@example.org