How to Save the World: Disciplemaking Made Simple

You can always disciple one person. A mentor first told me this nearly two decades ago when I was a college student. And then, when I started training as a campus ministry intern in my first job out of college, I heard it again and again. Of course! One person. How hard could that be? In the years that followed, I parroted this phrase to countless college students who passed through the ministries I worked with.

You’re studying abroad? You can always disciple one person.

You’ve got a full course load plus an internship this quarter? You can always disciple one person.

You plan to work full-time in the tech industry after graduation? You can always disciple one person.

You get the idea.

Fast-forward seven years. God called me out of full-time ministry to work as a marriage and family therapist at a mental-health clinic for the under resourced population in Los Angeles County. A few of my coworkers were Christians, but the majority were not. Ah yes, a ripe harvest field. With all of my training and ministry experience, specifically in the area of discipleship, surely I discipled tons of people and helped everyone come to know Jesus, right?

Nope. In fact, I didn’t disciple a single person during those years. Me, the not-so-great disciplemaker. But that is not my full story—thanks to God’s plan to use all things for His glory. Jesus encourages each of us that we have what it takes to be disciplemakers. All we need to do is take the first step and follow Him.

Is a lifestyle of making disciples really only possible for pastors and people in full-time Christian ministry? But if that’s the case, why would Jesus call all of His followers to make disciples of every nation? He called 12 very ordinary people (the disciples) to follow Him and become fishers of men.

Let’s hear from some disciplemakers in everyday life—and how God uses their simple steps towards discipleship to transform those around them:

Cesia was deeply motivated to make disciples after hearing a message that reminded her that only three things are eternal: God, His Word, and people. Cesia says, “I don’t want to regret my college experience by investing in the wrong things. God gave me gifts to steward well.” She has realized that if she waits until she has more availability or capacity, she would never make disciples.

Aaron and Kanisha strive to be intentional in disciplemaking and make themselves accessible to those around them, particularly with their employees at the restaurants they own. Aaron says, “The pulpit is the dish pit in the restaurant. Being in the dish pit is like Jesus washing His disciples’ feet. People are just being themselves. We get to ask questions about family. We get a pulse on how people are doing.” He’s motivated to make disciples because he sees the entire body of Christ as one family—and each new person as a potential family reunion.

Adapted from How to Save the World: Disciplemaking Made Simple by Alice Matagora. Copyright 2022. Published by NavPress. Used with permission.

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