The basic mission of the church is to "go and make disciples," but what does this mean and how do we do it?
For the last three years, I have been trying to mature as a disciple maker. My first experience with disciple making was with a man who got saved several years ago. I started meeting with him one-on-one, working through a discipleship curriculum, and it actually went very well. My second disciple making attempt was with another new believer, but it didn’t go as well. In fact, he turned out to be the seed that fell among the thorns, but that is another discussion. In this situation, I used another curriculum, and it obviously didn’t go so well.
By the time the next opportunity came around, I had more questions about disciple making than I did answers. What is the best curriculum to use, or at least a good curriculum? Should I meet with the person one-on-one or in a group? What exactly should we do during our meetings? And more importantly, how can I get more of my church members involved in the process? What if more people need to be discipled than I can personally meet with, what then?
I started to read about disciple making strategies. I was fascinated to learn how different the various disciple making strategies were, and yet they were each bearing fruit in their context. I began to identify core values and key questions that must be answered in order to develop a disciple making strategy for my church. The book that you hold in your hands is not really an original work, per se. If you are looking for some original ideas about disciple making, you have come to the wrong place. What follows is a summary of my research. I have tried to understand some of the key issues involved in developing a disciple making strategy with the goal of creating a disciple making strategy for my own church. The strategy that I have adopted is by no means original; it is more of a conflation of strategies developed by others.
The book is divided into six parts: (1) a story that illustrates the importance of being both a disciple and a disciple maker, (2) an examination of what we are currently doing in the church to make disciples and why it’s so ineffective, (3) a working definition of what a disciple of Jesus really is, (4) some observations about how disciples are made and the pathway to transformation, (5) comparing and contrasting various disciple making strategies, and (6) a suggested strategy for making disciples who make disciples at the First Baptist Church of Benbrook in Fort Worth, Texas.
Dr. Todd Pylant is the Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Benbrook in Fort Worth, Texas. He holds degrees from Baylor University, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Bethel University. In 23 years of ministry, he has served churches in both Texas and Georgia. He and his wife, Kelli, live in Fort Worth, Texas with their three children.