Where’s the Time Going?


Some people have estimated that Jesus spent 10,000 hours with the disciples during His three-year ministry. That’s a little over 9 hours a day. Some days were much longer than that! Jesus taught them, hung out with them at weddings, went fishing with them, ate with them, weathered the storms with them, and went on road trips with them. He lived life with them.side lable

And He appointed twelve, so that they would be with Him and that He could send them out to preach… (Mark 3.14)

But here’s the problem. We are married with kids, have full-time jobs, and have other responsibilities that Jesus didn’t have (not to mention a million distractions we allow to strangle our discretionary time). Some of these time commitments are unavoidable and some are self-inflicted wounds. We need to establish our priorities in order to disciple a few people. We need to get creative and multiply our time.

Deb and I have been making disciples for almost 40 years. We’ve multiplied our time by taking young disciples to our sons’ football and soccer games with us. We invited them to meals. It could be as grand as vacationing with them or as simple as bringing them along on a trip to the hardware store. There were seasons where we were getting together four times a week. But the way to spend the most quality time with them was to move disciples into our home. Challenging? You bet! Inconvenient? At times.  But it was worth every minute of investment in their lives.

You don’t have to move people into your home but here’s the reality; disciple-makers need to find the time to spend with the folks they’re discipling or it won’t go well. Plain and simple. Disciples need mentors that take responsibility for their spiritual growth. Here’s a simple guideline for the time disciples need during the various seasons of life. Notice how time may increase or decrease based on the needs of the season of life and spiritual development.

Time chart 2

Call to Action: Write down the names of 1-3 disciples that you will spend quality time with. Now think through the everyday events. Now invite them to join you.


Blast from the Past – How to start a disciple-making ministry – First be a Disciple

The Three Become Nine (1-3-9)

the 9

Now there are Nine! These are teetering on the precipice, the tipping point for the movement. This is validation that the One has done a good job with the Three. The proof that the Three has done a good job with you is that you are able to reproduce the life of Jesus in others. The baton is in your hands. You have the same intense pursuit of godly character, audacious vision, and dependence on the Holy Spirit. You are the tip of the spear. The movement rests on your shoulders and God willing it will spread to the nations.

You may or may not know the One. You may or may not know all of the Three. But one person you do know is Jesus the Christ. You are committed to the next generation of disciples and churches that will cover the globe and are connected like a chain until the Savior returns. And you know with certainty that the task cannot be finished without the help of others. You will communicate, collaborate, and cooperate with the efforts of the greater body of Christ. You realize that the souls of men and women are at stake; not only in your oikos but in your neighborhood, your city, country, the darkest corners of the earth.

You are in sync with the Father’s heart. You will move forward with complete confidence that you can be the One and do the same with your Three Timothys who will reach the Nine. You are now part of a viral movement of the gospel that has been spanning the globe for over 2000 years. But we are not done.  It’s time to finish the task and obey the Great Commission until there is #NoPlaceLeft. Be strong and courageous! Jesus is with you every step of the way.

Now there are NINE!

Call to Action: Send a boomerang question to the nine. Something like; Did you meet with your Timothys this week? It starts by going from the One through the Three and finally to the Nine and returns through the Three back to the One. Now you have opened a generational communication channel to ask more questions!


You are the One (Part 1)

Focus on the 3 (Part 2)

The Three Become Nine (Part 3)


Focus on the Three (1-3-9)

the 3

You may help many but you focus on the Three. The beginning of multiplying disciples, churches, and leaders. Some of them have come into the faith recently, others have been walking with Jesus for a while. They’ve entrusted their lives to you as a mentor having observed your life and will imitate your faith as you watch over their souls. They will follow you as you follow Christ. But they are not blind followers. You have stressed over and over again, their ultimate authority is the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. They are committed to being faithful, available, teachable, and reproducing.

Together, you strive toward being a healthy church. You are family. Your fellowship is encouraging, challenging, and frequent. Together you are in the harvest, loving people, making disciples, imitating Jesus and His followers. You thrive under the influence of one another’s gifts, talents, and abilities. You celebrate each other’s differences. Instead of competing with one another, you serve one another. You’ve covenanted to speak the truth in love with one another in forbearance and patience. You are one another’s biggest cheerleaders. You are a microcosm of what the whole Body of Christ should look like. One team, one mission, one Lord.       

The Three will be the mentors to the Nine. They are the conduit to the next generation. As you have modeled truth and grace in their midst, your labor will not be in vain.  They will teach others to abide richly in Christ, share the gospel, and live out the Word. They pray in total dependence on the Holy Spirit and deeply love those whom God has entrusted to them. Through the highs and lows of ministry, they will persevere in all circumstances. They are compelled to pass the life of Christ on to others who will do the same. They will be fruitful and multiply.

You are focused on the THREE.

Call to Action: Identify your mentor. Ask them to invest in your life at least weekly. Be faithful, available, teachable, and reproducing. Identify your three. Commit to meeting with them at least weekly.

You are the One (Part 1)

Focus on the 3 (Part 2)

The Three Become Nine (Part 3)


You are the One (1-3-9)


So you’re the one! You really believe the Great Commission is not a suggestion but a command for every believer to obey. You’re the one who wants to see the glory of God cover the earth, and you’ve got a vision for reaching the nations by multiplying disciples, churches, and spiritual leaders. You’re the one who knows the way forward. You help a lot of people but in order to multiply your efforts, you focus your mentoring on a few. You’re the one with faith like an apostle, tenacity like a prophet, and love like a shepherd.

You’re the one who studied the words and ways of Jesus as if your life depended on them. You’re compelled to pass them on to others because you know they’re true; they’re life. This is not your 40-minute sermon; it’s your every minute reality. You live in obedience to your Master and as a model for your Timothys to imitate. You say with the Apostle Paul, “Follow me as I follow Christ!”

You may or may not have had a mentor but you are ready to stand in the gap and to be a mentor for others. You learned from the Holy Spirit and the Holy Scriptures, and you will go it alone if that’s what it takes. You’re the one who will labor tirelessly until Christ is formed in the next generation. This is not only your heritage but your passion. Your lineage must experience the love of Jesus the same way you did (or even better). To this end, you will work night and day, blood, sweat, and tears until you meet Jesus face to face. You’ll pay whatever it costs. Your goal, in the end, is to hear His words, “Well done My good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of Your Master.”

So, you are the ONE!

Call to Action: Pray and ask Jesus to make you a better disciple-maker. What are three things you can do right now to be a better mentor?


You are the One (Part 1)

Focus on the 3 (Part 2)

The Three Become Nine (Part 3)


For the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12)

A young disciple asked me an excellent question: “Is the Great Commission an individual or corporate responsibility?” To which I answered, “Yes”! None of us has all the gifts and abilities needed to thoroughly disciple others. That’s why we are to function as the Body of Christ. Together, we become like Jesus in the fullest sense and can disciple others more effectively. That’s one of our primary tasks as the “
Ekklesia” (the assembly, the church). I have benefited tremendously, both in being discipled and in making disciples in the context of the Body. I call it “discipleship by the village”. But the assembly must understand that this is one of their chief functions before God. Are you assembling with those who have a vision for the Great Commission and are they able to train and empower others for the sake of making disciples corporately? It works a lot better together!


“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…” (Matthew 28:19)

My son clumsily walked into the living room sporting his little camouflage uniform and my combat boots. It was hilarious to see those huge boots on a four-year-old boy who wanted to be just like his dad. But as cute as it was, he was having an awful time walking. That perfectly illustrates some limitations of imitation. It’s not only important to figure out how to be like Jesus. It’s just as important to understand areas we will never be like Jesus. God may not expect you to be single all your life, wander the countryside of Palestine, have long hair and wear sandals, and live only 33 years. It’s important to identify the principles of becoming like Jesus and not just the forms. Attributes like compassion, obedience to the Father, introducing others to God, prayer, depth in God’s Word, etc., are principles we can all imitate. As we carefully read the Scriptures, we should ask this question,How can I become like Jesus and practice the principles He modeled?”


Day 11: Irresistible

The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with lovingkindness.”( Jeremiah 31:3 )

As the Ranger Students would cross the objective during a cold winter’s raid, they would invariably end up somewhere near the fire. The OPFOR always had a fire on the objective to illuminate (makes it easier for the Rangers to find) and for warmth.  The light and heat were just too much for these frozen Hooahs to resist. The fire was so irresistible they would violate the tactical principle of dispersion. It happened without fail. Life is the same. It’s cold out there and it can be bitter to the bone. But the light and warmth of God’s love are irresistible without any bad consequences. Come in out of the cold.

Application: Share the love of God with one person this week. Invite them to church, Bible study, or a fellowship activity. Tell them what Jesus has done in your life. Or share a passage of encouraging scripture.

Ranger Students – Ranger School is one of the toughest training courses for which a Soldier can volunteer. Army Rangers are experts in leading Soldiers on difficult missions – and to do this, they need rigorous training. For more than two months, Ranger students train to exhaustion, pushing the limits of their minds and bodies.


Raid – Raiding, also known as depredation, is a military tactic or operational warfare mission which has a specific purpose and is not normally intended to capture and hold a location but instead finish with the raiding force quickly retreating to a previous defended position prior to enemy forces being able to respond in a coordinated manner or formulate a counter-attack. A raiding group may consist of combatants specially trained in this tactic, such as commandos, or as a special mission assigned to any general troops. Raids are often a standard tactic in irregular warfare, employed by warriorsguerrilla fighters or other irregular military forces. Some raids are large, for example the Sullivan Expedition.

Hooah /ˈhɑː/ is a battle cry used by soldiers in the U.S. Army and airmen in the U.S. Air Force.[1] Originally spelled “Hough“, the battle cry was first used by members of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment (United States) during the Second Seminole War in 1841, after Seminole chief Coacoochee toasted officers of the regiment with a loud “Hough!”, apparently a corruption of “How d’ye do!”[2] Since WWII, the word has been widely used throughout the US Army and gained a more general meaning of “anything and everything except ‘no'”.[3][4] It is comparable to Oorah (Marines) in the United States Marine Corps, and Hooyah in the United States Navy.