The Five Most Critical Things About Disciple-Making
At Greater Europe Mission, we seek to be disciples who make disciples. In all areas of our life, we seek to be discipled by others and be disciple-makers of others to see God’s Kingdom multiply across Europe. But what does that look like in practice? And how can all followers of Jesus be active and effective and making disciples for Jesus?
1. Live the Great Commission
At the end of Matthew’s Gospel, after Jesus’ resurrection, He sends forth His first disciples—doubting, yet full of faith—to be His ambassadors of the good news of God’s kingdom (Matthew 28:19).
This verse, iconic for its global mission mandate, is not just for cross-cultural workers, but for all followers of Jesus. There is no caveat, asterisk, or qualification here. Jesus is commissioning all Christians to play a part in making disciples of all nations.
2. Embody the Great Commandment
In Matthew 22, Jesus is asked by a religious expert, “What is the greatest commandment in the law?”
“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40)
The lifestyle of disciple-making apart from the embodiment of love of God and love of neighbor misses the mark of God’s design. We must be faithful at making disciples of the nations and do so with a heart of love. But we cannot do it alone.
3. Practice the Great Collaboration
If you were soon to die and had one final message to share with your friends, what would you say? In the book of John, we get to peer into the room where Jesus does this very thing with His dearest friends right before His crucifixion. What did He say?
“[I pray] that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me” (John 17:21).
Jesus’ final prayer for His followers—both those in His presence and those who would follow Him in the future—was for unity and collaboration. Jesus knew the practice of bringing together people from different walks of life, culture, and background into one family would be something that would be so new, so revolutionary, that people would see the example and come to believe in Jesus.
And in a world torn apart by divisions, this practice of collaborating with other followers of Jesus from different tribes and traditions from our own is needed now more than ever.
Yet, in all of this, living the great commission, embodying the great commandment, and practicing the great collaboration are all futile without the first and final reminder Christ gives in His Matthew 28 commissioning.
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (28:18b) and two verses later, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (28:20b)
4. Remember the Great Comfort
The journey of life with God on mission is one of deepening our awareness of Christ’s love for us and His presence with us. He is with us always and He has authority over heaven and earth.
This reminder frees us from the lie that burdens us into thinking it is our responsibility to save the world. It’s not; it’s God’s. And it empowers us to play our part in His great mission by knowing that we are loved by God and letting this truth fuel our efforts.
But why do we do all of this? Why does any of this matter?
5. Anticipate the Great Consummation
In the Revelation of Jesus at the end of scripture, John sees a vision of what is to come that has animated followers of Jesus for two millennia. “After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands” (Revelation 7:9).
In the end, when Christ comes to consume history and bring all into reconciliation, a remnant from every nation, tribe, and tongue will be present. God is glorified in the richness of diversity. It is this quest that motivates our efforts to make disciples in Europe: to see Europe transformed by Christ and see eternity filled with all nations of Europe.
About the author:
Grant Klinefelter is a storyteller with Greater Europe Mission and serves in Birmingham, England.