Four pillars of disciple making (Part 5)

Obedience

Kingfisher, among others, wants to mobilize the body of Christ to realize God’s Kingdom by praying for the coming of the Kingdom, transforming all spheres of life, address the need in the world and live a disciple making lifestyle that will disciple all nations.  To achieve this we can only learn from our Master and Mobilizer, Jesus Christ. He modeled a Kingdom lifestyle among a small group of men, taught them God’s heart and asked them to go and do the same. When Jesus left them, they could go and reproduce what they experienced within those three years.

What was the elements that produced their life change, which they could reproduce, which started a movement?

Within a community of people Jesus changed the disciples’ and many other people’s hearts, relationships and circumstances with His Word and a lifestyle of obedience to His Father. Jesus demonstrated a life that was on the go and His actions sought to rectify everything sin had broken or destroyed. Take note of the key elements: community, Word, obedience and a Kingdom lifestyle. Here we discover Jesus’ approach to mobilize His disciples to continue the realization of His Kingdom.

Mobilizing, in my mind, should therefore have the same elements. We should mobilize leaders in such a way that they can go and reproduce what they experienced. Jesus mobilized people to realize His Kingdom. To mobilize, therefore, is to make disciples the Jesus way, with a specific outcome – a Kingdom lifestyle. To disciple someone is to mobilize someone to realize the Kingdom and to mobilize someone is to disciple someone to realize the Kingdom.

The most outstanding characteristic of a believer’s life should be obedience – the third pillar.

Man’s soul consists of a will, mind and emotion, and of these three the will is in control of the soul.  Watchman Nee always said that true spirituality does not lie in the mind or emotion, but in the will that should lead us to obedience.  True spirituality does not lie in nice theology or emotional experiences, but in obedience!  In the spiritual world we may not polarize, eliminate or contrast anything, but we should find God’s order in the kingdom.  The average preaching and church practices focus on healing and correct theology, while the highest priority should be obedience!  That does not mean that the rest is not there, but they should be restored in the correct order.  Nothing in the life of the believer will ever be fruitful in the long run if it does not come from a deep-rooted desire to be obedient to the Lord!

God’s longing for His children to obey Him are being expressed throughout the Bible. Here are just a few verses in this regard: I Sam 15:22, Matt 7:21, Luke 6:46, Acts 5:29.

1 Sam 15:22 And Samuel said, Does Jehovah delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of Jehovah? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice! To listen is better than the fat of rams!

Matt 7:21 Not everyone who says to Me, Lord! Lord! shall enter the kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in Heaven.

Luke 6:46 And why do you call Me Lord, Lord, and do not do what I say?

Act 5:29 And Peter and the apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

The purpose of the gospel is not only that people should hear and admire it, but that they should adjust their lives accordingly and live in obedience to the voice of the Father!

Therefore if you are only going to teach stuff, instead of obedience to all the commands of Christ, your disciple making/mobilizing efforts will bear no fruit.

One of the most misquoted and misunderstood passages of the Bible is Matthew 28:18-20. Ask people, sometime, what this passage tells us to teach. I think you will be surprised by the number of people who will not say, “to obey.” Most of our churches, and most of our doctrines, are about teaching facts or knowledge about the Bible or theology or doctrine, or our own particular brand of church.

We will not see significant disciple making/mobilizing until and unless we are willing to teach everyone to obey all the commands of Christ, our Creator and God. How does one teach obedience? By being consistently obedient in public and in private, in word and in thought. Obedience is taught by an obedient life that supports daily life decisions from the principles of God’s Word regardless of the consequences. A faithful life is an obedient life in all situations and circumstances regardless of the consequences of being obedient.

The Great Commission is one commission with four parts or commands. If any one of these commands is not obeyed, then the commission is broken and will not produced the fruit that God intended – Obedient Disciples and Faith Communities.

In our disciple making lifestyle and mobilizing efforts we should model a life of obedience. We cannot read the Bible, listen to a sermon or conduct a training without continually asking ourselves the question: “What am I/are we going to do in response to what God has said?” Jesus’ obedience lead to our salvation and an everlasting Kingdom breaking through every day. Our obedience will bring forth the same. This is a Biblical promise and reality.

A good article (Reproducing Fishers of Men) about small groups as a space where we learn obedience is available under “Resources for mobilisers”.

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One Response to Four pillars of disciple making (Part 5)

  1. Roger Perkins says:

    Ignatius of Loyola believed the three powers of the soul were memories, the will and reason. We now know through modern scientific research that close to 95% of our decisions are made by the subconscious reservoir of memories and habits. The will is a decision making faculty but has no power of its own. We must engage in spiritual disciplines which heal the subconscious and develop a stronger conscious capacity for right emotions, thing and actions. The necessary disciplines are largely what is lacking.

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