And he left for Tarsus to look for Saul; and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. And it came about that for an entire year they met with the church, and taught considerable numbers; and the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch. (Acts 11:25-26)
There were four of us at my first Ft. Benning Bible study: me, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This didn’t surprise or distress me a bit because I had started previous Bible studies in the same way (and besides, it gave me a little time to pray). A couple of weeks later, it was me and just one other man: Jim McKnight. Jim will admit to you that he thought I was going to cancel the study because only one person showed up. Instead of seeing this as a defeat, I saw it as a great victory and focused all my energy on this one hungry soul. Six years have passed and we have grown to 5 Bible studies with a cumulative attendance of over 120 soldiers and about 20 laborers to lead those studies. It all starts with just one man. But, it’s got to be the right man who wants to know and be like Jesus.
How do you find such a man? First, know what you are looking for. I help many men who just want to be helped. I have no problem with this, my Master did the same. I help people freely because I’m commanded to love them. But I’m also looking for one man who is sold out for Jesus and wants to help others (Lk 9.23). You can certainly spend the rest of your life helping people but multiplication of your efforts start when the people you are helping begin to obey the Great Commission and invest their lives in others (Mt 28.18-20). Look for a man who is not just playing defensive but offensive Christianity.
There are many places you can find such a man. Church, chapel, Bible studies, work, school, or even on the street (you’d be surprised how God provides these men). Begin to pray that the Father would just give you one person (Jn 6.44) to lock arms with in ministry to disciple (or disciple one another, a peer will work). Start reading the gospels together and practice ministry the way Jesus did (Jn 13.15). As a two man team, pray and invite others to join you. Help those God puts in your path. But always be committed to this one man. Do not despise small beginnings (Zech 4.10).
How to Start a Disciplemaking Ministry
(1/5) – First, Be a Disciple
(2/5) – Find One Other Disciple
(3/5) – Yoked Together in Ministry
(4/5) – Send Me in Coach
(5/5) – Sling ’em in the Breach
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