Four Principles For Disciple Making
FOUR PRINCIPLES OF DISCIPLE MAKING
Mark 6: 7-13
This morning we come back to this passage here in Mark 6 and I say “come back to” because last week we began with this passage and then we went to Matthew 28: 18-20 and I talked to you about our God given assignment or mission as disciples…to “make disciples”….
- The “gospel of God” and the call to repentance and salvation are so incomparably important that God wants us to take that message “to all nations”…
- And He doesn’t want us to just “baptize” people…He wants us to make “disciples.”
- He wants us to teach them “to observe all that He has commanded.”
- Christ is Lord…He has all authority and if Christ said it…that is what they are to do.
- So Christ wants us to make “disciples”….and discipleship begins at baptism.
- Baptism is indispensable when it comes to being a disciple of Christ’s.
So, last week we looked at what our mission is…and this week we are going to learn some more about “making disciples from what Jesus told His disciples.”
- Mark chapter 6 and let’s begin in verse 7.
The first thing I want you to notice is THE PRINCIPLE OF COMPANIONSHIP.
- Notice, Jesus “sent” His disciples.
- Disciple makers “go”; they don’t expect people to come to them.
And notice He sends them out in twos.
- Why does Jesus send them out two by two?
I think there are a couple of reasons.
- One is because the credibility of a witness is established by two or more.
- IF one went and told of the miracles of Jesus…people might not believe him.
- And when you think of some of the miracles….calming the storm…raising the dead…more than likely they wouldn’t.
- But it would be a little different if two men were telling it.
- So two established credibility.
But another reason for sending them out in twos and perhaps the most important was “to encourage one another.”
- Jesus himself has just experienced the sting of rejection by the people of Nazareth.
- And He knows there are going to be places where these men are going where they too will be rejected.
- And when they are they will need moral support.
- And the only place they may find it is with their companion.
And that is true.
- Effectiveness is increased by companionship, and counsel and cooperation.
Another thing, when you go in pairs, accusations are easily defeated.
- A person by himself can be accused of something and it is his word against theirs.
- But with a companion, accusations often times don’t even arise and when they do he has a witness to help him.
- (Benevolence, visits, counseling, Youth trips)
As a body of disciples who are to be about making disciples, we would do well to remember the principle of companionship.
Second thing I want you to notice when it comes to disciple making is THE PRINCIPLES OF COMMUNICATION.
Look at verse 8. Notice what Jesus told them to take. He instructed them that they should “take nothing for their journey, except a mere staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belt; but to wear sandals; and He added, “Do not wear two tunics.”
Why did Jesus give them these kinds of instructions?
- I mean He prohibits them from taking what would generally be considered normal traveling provisions.
- Why would he do that?
There are two or three reasons.
- For one thing: Traveling light was one way to get into peoples lives.
- In those days it was not the duty of a visitor to search for hospitality.
- It was the duty of a village to offer it.
- So if you came into town with nothing, people opened their homes up to you.
- And that gave you opportunity.
- And if it didn’t….if the people didn’t respond to your needs, that was a good indicator that they probably weren’t going to be very receptive to your message.
Now the next two reasons are more important…and they both have to do with the message that they were communicating.
- Taking no provisions could tell them some things about the people.
- But taking no provisions also said a lot about the disciples themselves.
These men are going out to preach a message of faith.
- They are going to tell other people to put their faith in God.
- In order to get others to “trust in God these men will need to trust in God also.”
- And the fact that they have no provisions when they arrive in a city will send forth that message.
- People will look at them and think, “these men are trusting in God to supply all their needs.”
- So the minimum of provisions is meant to express the maximum of faith.
- It said, “When you have God you have what you really need.”
And what we need to understand is “if we are going to teach people about faith….then we need to have faith ourselves.”
- How can we tell people to believe in Jesus, obey Jesus, trust Jesus if we don’t believe, obey and trust ourselves.
- And it can’t be a faith that we only talk about, it must be a faith that can be seen.
- Seen in how we live, and how we act, and talk, and in what we have.
- Jesus wanted their faith to be seen and He wants ours to be seen also.
Another thing, when Jesus told them to “take nothing with you”, when they entered into a town it communicated “commitment.”
- It is easy to be committed to something when they pay you $40,000 a year to do it.
- It is easy to be committed to something when they give you a nice car or a nice house to do it.
But it is real commitment when you do it and they don’t give you anything.
- These men going out with “nothing” told everyone “that they were committed to what they were doing.”
- And that kind of commitment told everyone “that the message they were preaching was that important.”
If we are going to make disciples we too are going to have to be “committed.”
- We are going to have to be willing to give up some things…
- To make some sacrifices.
Unfortunately today, we sometimes can’t make disciples because we might have to give up a little TV….or a little sports…or lose a little sleep.
- And , when we do that what does that say about how important our message is?
And another thing.
- What kind of impression does it make when you leave and the people say, “Let us give you some supplies, some gifts, some money.”
- And you say, “No, we didn’t come here for that. That is not what we are about. In the next town our God will give us everything we will need.”
When you go out here and talk to people about Christ, do you know what their first reaction often is?
- Often times they are suspicious.
- They want to know “What’s in it for you?
- “Why are you doing this?”
- “What is the catch?”
But when you go with out receiving anything in return, then that tells them that you have no hidden agenda….that your motives were sincere…and the message you left them was all the reward you needed.
As disciples of Christ we would do well to learn the “principle of communication.
Another thing we need to learn about making disciples is THE PRINCIPLE OF BOLDNESS.
- Disciples don’t create the message….instead they repeat the message.”
- Jesus is the teacher…the Master…we simply repeat what He has said.
And look at the message. Look at verse 12.
- They preached for people to “repent.“
Now some of us don’t like that word do we?
- We don’t like it because it is a confrontational word.
- It speaks of sin.
- And people don’t like to be told that they have sinned.
- It makes people mad. Defensive.
- And they often accuse us of being judgmental.
So today, instead of saying “repent” we would rather say “you need to make some changes”….”you need to do some things different.”
These disciples went out and preached “repentance.”
- And we need to be as bold.
Let me tell you, sin is a horrible thing. It destroys, it corrupts…and it devastates.
- Lives are in ruins because of it.
- Marriages have been destroyed because of it.
- And more important than any, souls have been and are being lost because of it.
And we do no one any good at all by “watering it down.”
- When we take the sting out of sin then we are removing the desperate need for people to repent….and come back to God.
- And when we do that we are subtly inviting them to be condemned and lost forever.
These disciples preached “repentance.”
- And if we are going to be faithful disciples we cannot compromise the message of the Teacher that sent us.
Is it going to be popular message?
- Not in some places.
- In fact, in this passage Jesus said, “Expect in some towns to have to shake the dust off of your sandals because some people are not going to hear the call to repent.”
- But as disciples we are not responsible how people receive the message.
- We are responsible to be faithful in sharing it….even if they don’t like. it.
Now look down at verse 30. As we go out to make disciples we need to understand the PRINCIPLE OF ACCOUNTABILITY.
In verse 30 the disciples come back and report to Jesus all that they had done and taught. Think about this a minute.
What would you have to say to Jesus today? If you had to report to him on all that you have done or taught in the way of making disciples, what would you say?
- As a church, what would we say?
I believe that someday we will all report to Jesus about how faithful we have been in fulfilling the commission He has given us.
As disciples…we are to “go and make disciples for Christ.”
- It is not an easy mission to fulfill…in fact it is full of potential discouragement…and possible rejection.
That is why we need to remember the principle of encouragement; the principle of communication; the principle of boldness; and the principle of accountability.
- Matthew 5 tells us that this world we live in is heading straight for a day of judgment.
- As the salt of the earth…our task is to do all we can to slow down the decaying process…and to try and bring as many as we can to the Lord.
- Romans 1: 16 tells us that “this…the gospel…is the power of God for salvation to all who believe…to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”
- God has given us “His power” to share with others so that they might be saved.
- If we will present it…It will have its affect.
- But if we don’t…well, some day we may have to explain to Him why we didn’t.
Let’s all commit today to “go, some how or some way, and “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit…teaching them to observe all that He has commanded.”
© Sunset Ridge Church of Christ 2023