If you want something to reproduce it has to be simple. Complex approaches aren’t as easily reproducible as simple approaches. If your approach to making disciples requires a PhD to pull it off then the number of capable and qualified people who can carry it forward is diminished.

If you look at how your church disciples people (either intentionally or accidentally) is it simple or complex? If the requirements to make a disciple include:

Multimillion dollar facility
Trained professional staff
50+ Volunteers to pull it off
Dozens of programs

Chances are your approach is too complicated.

That doesn’t mean these things are wrong…it just means they don’t naturally make disciples at a pace that has speed or accessibility. Evangelism is free. The only space you need to make disciples is a living room or even a city park.

This is not a program

Making disciples doesn’t happen on Sunday. Maturing disciples happens in part on Sunday but in an insufficient manner. Making and maturing disciples requires life-on-life in relational environments. That isn’t complicated. It isn’t expensive. Just about anyone can do it. And that is what gives it the potential to go viral.

If you want to train people in making disciples – make sure the approach is simple. Because then it can reproduce because the number of people who can carry it forward has increased exponentially.

Jesus Used Simple

It is important to remember that Jesus had a simple approach – invite them, teach them, show them how to live, send them to try it, debrief and train some more. There really wasn’t much complicated to Jesus’ approach on making and maturing disciples. It was so simple that even fishermen could reproduce it to thousands and tens of thousands of people within a generation.


A few examples of simple practices that are easily taught/reproduced would include:
Discovery Bible Study
Prayer Walking
Welcoming new neighbors
Sharing your testimony
Sharing the Gospel

One Response

  1. The main challenge I see is folks communicating past each other concerning is that a spiritual / magickal mindset / worldview requires metaphorical (vs. literalistic) thinking. The false gods of the nations spent considerable effort trying to enforce materialistic / ritualistic thinking (sacrifices, buying indulgences, Baal Festival Cycle); the primary purpose of which was to reward their clergicals with power in their societies (to challenge royalty). When Nicodemus came to Jesus he was unable to easily think about being born from above/ anew because it required a kind of poetical / prophetic imagination which the Jerusalem religious leadership seemed unpracticed in. Que: Qumran community. When the Spirit of Most High God communicates, it often involves dynamic translation on the fly (this requires shared metaphors). But metaphorical thinking is bound up in shared narrative. Michael Heiser, NT Wright (and others) have been making an effort to restore the “full gospel” by fleshing out what the Chosen Son of David / Son of Man implied to Second Temple Jews and early Messianic Communities. [Three falls] Pro tip: Table Fellowship was THE characteristic to most of the religious movements of the day. For the “Christ Clubs”, the Memorial Meal (within the Agape [Pot Providence]) was when most (illiterate) folks learned the harp songs, hymns, spiritual odes and scripture was read and community theologies were formed (1 Cor does a good job setting the scene if one reads the entire letter at once). My point: USAns are encultured to think materialistically, individualistically, personal salvifically vs. in a Powers and Principalities (often institutionally and legally) confrontational manner (spiritual warfare). Almost all Western churches neglect the debt jubilee aspect of the good news to the poor that the new King / Messiah implied (because we are Mars and Mammon worshiping by tradition). Most, but not all, seminaries ignore Michael Hudson’s relatively recent scholarship on “…and forgive them their debts” [https://michael-hudson.com/2017/01/the-land-belongs-to-god/ | https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10149799/1/Financing-Prosperity-by-Dealing-With-Debt.pdf#page=48%5D consider #XianCreditUnions 2 Cor. 8

    Simple: the Spirit of God wants to indwell you, wants to charism you, connect you with a mentoring community which recognizes every member’s ministry. Forgiveness by Messiah’s righteousness is required, the pledge of allegiance of any so called god was an initiation rite (immersion was the common Xian one). That community is reclaiming the territories of the rebellious spiritual entities / idols / ethno-national gods by continuous courageous compassionate search and rescue operations, not by nationalistic insurrections. (see German Peasants War)


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