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Only A Disciple Can Make a Disciple, Right?

Top 10 Things I Need to Know about Discipleship

Top 10 Things I Need to Know about Discipleship
While I sometimes argue anyone can host a small group (even a non-Christian), only a disciple can make a disciple.

I don’t know about you, but I need to be reminded about certain things on a regular basis. As I think through discipleship, here’s my current list of things I need to know:

1. It takes a disciple to make a disciple. While I sometimes argue anyone can host a small group (even a non-Christian), only a disciple can make a disciple.

2. Real disciples make disciples. I think this is an important distinction. It means if you’re not actively making disciples, you probably aren’t a disciple.

3. Disciples are rarely made in rows. From an environmental angle, a disciple is far more likely to made in a circle. After all, becoming a disciple has far less to do with digesting information (like in a class) and far more to do with spending time with those who are becoming like Him.

4. You don’t have to arrive before you begin making disciples (see Phil. 3:12-14 if you don’t believe me).

5. You don’t have to use printed curriculum to make disciples. The early disciples made it happen even before they had the New Testament.

6. You don’t become a disciple by completing a course or curriculum. While some studies might be better at generating the kinds of conversations that open eyes and soften hearts, completing a study or a course isn’t like completing a degree program that qualifies you to use a title or certain letters after your name (like Rev. or PhD).

7. Completing a course or curriculum also doesn’t make you disciple-maker. You might earn a credential, but what makes you a disciple-maker is that you’re actually making disciples.

8. Disciple-making takes time. You can’t microwave a disciple. The process won’t be hurried. A real disciple is always becoming more like Jesus. It’s what gives the disciple-maker the opportunity to say, “Here’s what the Lord is showing me right now.”

9. Like the servants in Matt. 25, every one of us is given opportunity to invest in others “according to our ability.

10. “Make disciples” was Jesus’ final command. It was His marching orders to His disciples. It isn’t optional or reserved for those with the credential. It is a command for all of us.

By the way, these are the top 10 things I need to know about discipleship. Are they yours? Maybe. You may need to develop your own list.

What do you think? Have a question? Want to argue? You can click here to jump into the conversation.   

Mark HowellMark Howell serves as Pastor of Discipleship Communities at Canyon Ridge Christian Church in Las Vegas, NV. He founded, offering consulting and coaching services to help churches across North America launch, build and sustain healthy small group ministries. He spent four years on the consulting staff at Lifetogether and often contributes to ministry periodicals such as the Pastor's Ministry Toolbox and

More from Mark Howell or visit Mark at

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