Jesus has called all of us to live a disciplemaking life. Matthew 28:19-20 says,”19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Disciplemaking is done through relationships. We cooperate with the Holy Spirit in mutual relationships. It is me and you + Holy Spirit = Mutual community.
Jesus has asked us to be disciples who follow Him, who fish for men and women, and who continue the disciplemaking process.
Jesus’ public ministry can be simplified into —D1 to D3—where the “D” represents a new layer of disciplemaking challenge.
D1 – Jesus’ year-one relationships are built around a simple “follow me” challenge. He starts his public ministry as a rabbi at age 30 by inviting companions into a learning community. The primary purpose of this season seems to be for Jesus and his companions to draw close to God and to each other. Our western approach to D1 tends to see community through the eye of the individual. In Jesus’ culture, he built a D1 community that viewed individuals in the context of learning pairs and community. In Hebrew, a “havruta” is a learning style where friends [“havers”] chose to study and apply together. A community of disciples was typically made up of “haver” pairs, not individuals.
D2 – Jesus’ year-two relationships build upon and expand his “follow me” challenge to include “fishing for men.” The primary purpose becomes a both/and of co-purposes. Jesus defines following him to necessarily include fishing for men. He continues to draw his companions close to God and himself, but he also sends them (in “havruta” learning pairs) to do with others what he has done with them.
D3–Jesus reveals his master plan of never-ending disciplemaking (Year 3 to the present). He equips his companions to multiply and support “havers” as they follow, fish, and multiply. They are to continue to draw close and be sent while they multiply those who follow to follow & fish, and then follow, fish & multiply, repeat.
We invite you to take your journey as a D3 disciple who grows in the conviction to pace and pray like Jesus.
by Ron Kirkeeng, Pastor of Middle School Ministries