This series of articles explores thirteen major methods that are effective for making disciples. Keep in mind that in a ubiquitous (all encompassing, everywhere present) disciple-making process, virtually each method is not only encouraged but is planned into the church ministries. Here is a list including links to articles that have been completed in the series:
- Simple Discipleship: A Comprehensive Disciple-Making Plan- The Simple Discipleship Virtual Book Tour- (updated) originally posted in 2010
- DISCIPLESHIP BEST PRACTICES: 13 Ways to Make Disciples
- Passive Discipleship: the least effective method but essential to support other methods
- Private Discipleship: the Christian and the Holy Spirit (most effective but under used)
- Presence Discipleship: In times of crisis the disciple invests time, assistance, and prayer.
- ParticipationorProximity Discipleship: applies to all areas but most of all to giving
- Projected Discipleship:Actively but humbly projecting a Christian example of living Christ’s teachings.
- PlatformorPresentation Discipleship: preaching in church and lecture-style Bible study
- Program Discipleship: Pre-packaged materials delivered in large or small groups.
- Personal Discipleship: One-on-one discipleship (very effective but seldom used)
- Peer Group Discipleship: Bible study and Sunday School
- Practical Discipleship: Hands on service, evangelism, and missional projects
- Proficiency Discipleship: Leadership Development
- Proclamation Discipleship: Evangelism and preaching to unchurched
- Process Discipleship: All of the above delivered in a systematic way
Evaluate how you and your church are doing in the 13 methods of discipleship: Copy of 13 Ways to Make Disciples_Evaluation
WHAT IS PROJECTED DISCIPLESHIP?
Projected discipleship is actively but humbly projecting a Christian example of living Christ’s teachings. It is something that should come naturally to all Christians. The meaning of “project” as we mean here is to “present for consideration” as an incarnational living embodiment of Christ’s love. It may also be understood as the disciple projecting a mirror image of Christ by doing what Jesus would do in any given situation (WWJD). The Apostle Paul said that one’s works or actions are self-evident (Galatians 5:19-25)
19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Galatians 5:19-25 (NKJV)
THE ATTRACTIONAL GOSPEL
The Greek word used by Paul is phaneros which means “apparent” or “public” and is translated “evident” in the New King James Version. Paul is describing works, deeds, or actions of disciples of Jesus Christ. Along with prayer, acts of love as fruit of the Spirit are the two primary “weapons” of offense available to Christians. In fact, Jesus classified acts of love as the attractional Gospel as others see Christians love one another as well as others.
34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35 (NKJV)
My previous article in this series highlighted a senior adult couple who chose to live frugally so they could give toward God’s work. In so doing Walter and Reba demonstrated stewardship to others in their church. Their act was one of projected intentional discipleship.
THE REPULSIONAL GOSPEL
Projected discipleship can work in both positive and negative ways. If one’s good works can attract others to Christ, one’s bad works can repulse people from Christ. One of the best illustrations of this comes from a Ron Edmondson’s blog titled “Don’t Pray Before You Eat.” As Ron and his wife enjoyed an evening out at a restaurant they observed a large family at a table close by. All together the family bowed to give thanks for the meal, which was a positive attractional display of projected faith. However, as a result of poor customer service the family acted in an un-Christian manner by displaying anger and insults. Poor behavior repulses others from Christians and Christ.
Projected discipleship is one of the most powerful assets available to Christians and here are some universal principles that are required for effectiveness of this method:
- Authentic- people can tell when they are presented with genuineness and truthfulness.
- Humble- Arrogance and a pushy approach is not attractional.
- Loving- Love is the great leveler when it comes to differences of all kinds.
- Relevant- To communicate the disciple must connect by ministering a relevant need.
- Sacrificial- People are skeptical that Christians are self-serving but sacrificial acts are convincing.
Can you think of more? Please add them as comments.
- Do you agree with the principle of PROJECTED DISCIPLESHIP?
- How have you projected Christian good works for the purpose of evangelism or discipleship?
- How may the church teach, encourage, and empower Christians to project Christ as method of evangelism and discipleship?
- What additional application elements would you add? Please add them under “comments.”
Dr. Tom Cocklereece, The Disciplist
Simple Discipleship: How to Make Disciples in the 21st Century was published by Church Smart Resources. To learn more about Simple Discipleship and to order the book, follow the link below:
Dr. Tom Cocklereece isAuthor of “Simple Discipleship,” and a contributing writer for www.Linked2Leadership.comBlogazine.He is a pastor, leadership coach, and ministry development specialist.
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THE LAWS OF DISCIPLESHIP
THE LAWS OF DISCIPLESHIP PROJECTBe a part of The Laws of Discipleship Project! Each law of discipleship reflects the light of Christ like a facet of a diamond. Tom Cocklereece is currently writing the manuscript for this upcoming discipleship resource. You are invited to participate. If you are interested, email tom@ simplediscipleship.com
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