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GROWING IN CHRIST

"Witnessing to Disciple"

Date published: 08/16/2017
Matthew 4:19 “‘Come, follow Me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will make you fishers of men.’”  (NIV)  

   Witnessing and discipling go hand in hand. God desires every follower of Christ to be a fisher of people. Jesus ended Matthew (Matthew 28:19) and Mark (Mark 16:15), and began Acts (Acts 1:8) commanding us to share the Good News and disciple believers. Jesus often reminded the disciples of their mission, because His mission is what they were, and we are, to fulfill. Witnessing should always be at the forefront of every engagement with another person. If your engagement reveals that the individual is not a Christian, you now have the opportunity (mission) to share the gospel message (witness). If your engagement identifies him as a follower of Christ, you have the opportunity for discipleship or encouragement. The type of discipleship will depend on where the individual is spiritually.   

   There are 5 primary ways of discipling depending on the situation:

1) Encourage in the faith.

2) Encourage using Scriptural knowledge and prayer. 

3) Follow-up by providing Biblical truth and information to meet a need.

4) Occasional follow-up that shows interest, gives encouragement, prayer and   Biblical support.

5) Enter into a full blown discipling relationship to establish him/her in the faith; to equip him/her to experience a vibrant relationship with Christ; and to train him/her up to be a faithful follower of Christ who is living Jesus’ mission of witnessing and discipling.  

   Your response to God’s call to witness and disciple will ultimately flow out of your love for God and people. Christians often fall short in witnessing and discipling because their love for God and people is less than their personal interests and goals. There are five things that will enliven you to be a more vibrant witness and disciple for Christ:  First and foremost is your love for Jesus. Without a passionate pursuit of Jesus, you will fall short of the depth of His love that will take you into a transforming relationship with Him. In John 15:4, Jesus gave the secret, “Remain in Me, and I will remain in you.  No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me.”(NIV)  Second is Lordship. The depth of your relationship in Jesus will provide opportunities to witness and disciple. Making Jesus Lord will lead you in taking advantage of those opportunities. In Ephesians 3:7, Paul expressed his Lordship for witnessing and discipling others: “I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God's grace given me through the working of His power.” (NIV) Third is to cultivate a lifestyle of “salting for Christ.”  The life you live, the words you use, the love you show, and your intentional engagements with others will all give you opportunities to witness and disciple. Colossians 4:6 teaches: “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” (NIV) Fourth is to ask for boldness to engage as Peter did in Acts 4:29b: “Enable your servants to speak Your Word with great boldness.” (NIV)  Finally, be committed to Christ’s purpose expressed in Luke 5:31-32: "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." (NIV) Align your heart with Jesus, pray for divine appointments, and respond to God’s love for the lost and wandering.  Be an available vessel for the living Christ! 

Ephesians 3:8-9 “Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.” (NIV)

 

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Here are some Bible studies from Growing in Christ to help your transformative experience: “God’s Purpose For You and “Transformation – Part 3 

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