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How to make disciples: a better way

Dallas Willard’s The Great Omission and Frank Viola’s Discipleship in Crisis capture something of the overall malaise in the current state of discipleship.  My suspicion is that discipleship programs over the past fifty years must take some, if not much, of the blame for this malaise. This post takes a poke at... Read More

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How teaching makes disciples

Two action words describe how we make disciples. The first is baptizing which we dealt with in the previous post.   The second is teaching – a particular kind of teaching – that we’ll deal with in this post. Here are the nine words from Matthew 28:18-20 we'll examine: … teaching them to obey everything I have... Read More

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How baptizing makes disciples

How do we make disciples? In the last few posts we’ve asked some big questions about discipleship: What is a disciple? How can we recognize a disciple? Why do we make disciples? Listen again to Jesus’ words in Matthew 28:18-20. He is also telling us how to make disciples. Participating The main verb of the... Read More

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5 reasons to make disciples

“Why should I make disciples?” As I examine my own reasons, I listen again to Jesus in Matthew 28:18-20. Here are five areas to test whether we are aligned with Jesus and what he is doing. 1.       It’s not about me. As I listen and watch with the eleven disciples, my attention is focused on Jesus. We hear him... Read More

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5 discipleship attributes

How can you recognize a disciple of Jesus Christ? In some circles, discipleship is measured by activities such as reading the Bible and praying; attending church and participating in religious programs. These can be valuable, but is discipleship determined by such activities? The previous post, "What is a... Read More

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What is a disciple?

To hit a target, first locate the bull's-eye. For the Christian, the target is being a disciple, and making disciples, of Jesus Christ. So, it’s important we know what a disciple is.  Starting point Our starting point for understanding discipleship is Jesus – his life, conduct, and teaching. We discover this in... Read More

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I call it heresy

What is this heresy?  What can we do about it? A notable heresy A. W. Tozer writes in I Call It Heresy (pp. 9-10): “… a notable heresy has come into being throughout our evangelical Christian circles – the widely-accepted concept that we humans can choose to accept Christ only because we need Him as Saviour and... Read More

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So right, and yet so wrong

Peter argued with God.  He made back-to-back statements to Jesus. His first statement was so right; his second, so wrong.  In this contradiction, Peter exposes a crisis of discipleship familiar to every follower of Jesus.  The argument with God comes in the nature of Peter’s rebuke of Jesus in Matthew 16.  Jesus... Read More

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Yes Lord, but ...

How do we understand the one occasion when Jesus loses an argument?  Why does he seem to be insensitive, even rude, to a woman pleading for her daughter’s healing?  Could it be that there is something more going on here? Text The incident I’m referring to is reported in Mark 7:24-30 and Matthew 15:21-28.  The... Read More

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One Roman Nail

A Roman nail sits on my desk. It is accurately dated no later than 86 A.D.  Nail The nail is from Scotland where a Roman fortress used to stand. The fortress, called Inchtuthill (Inch-too-till), was constructed about 82 A.D. It was soon dismantled in 86 A.D. when the occupying force, the Legio XX Valeria... Read More


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