Message selection, for the disciple-maker, is an all-important endeavor. Effective disciple making does not just simply happen. Happenstance cannot be and should not be the modus operandi of one who desires to reach people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. People are fragile and the Gospel is powerful. God has entrusted his fragile people with a powerful Gospel message. As people who have been entrusted with such a powerful Gospel, we should do everything within our means to see that it is presented in a positive and successful manner.
Leaving the disciple making process to chance, or to coincidental occurrence, is negligence at best. Reliance on the Holy Spirit in this process, however, is paramount. We will speak to this issue in further detail later on when we talk about inspiration. This short instructional essay will survey and assess the sources, that God has readied the disciple-maker with, to be used in the process of effective disciple making.
Mitchell calls this “The living words of the community”. The primary source for one’s message must be the Bible; this is the tradition of which we speak. For example, few Bible scriptures communicate to the New Testament church like the very words that Jesus spoke. Jesus would use analogous stories to convey his message. These stories are referred to in scripture as parables. The word parable is a transliteration of the Greek word παραβολή (pä-rä-bo-lā'), which literally means to lay one thing beside another. Our Lord would lay beside commonly understood things, from everyday life, a story with a disciple-making message. He would analogize the message he wanted to convey by laying it along side a common thought or well-known narrative. Leroy Eims reminds u...
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...o define and arrive at message content and then use these forms to communicate the disciple-maker’s message effectively.
Barna, George. Growing True Disciples: New Strategies For Producing Genuine
Followers of Christ. Colorado Springs, Colo.: Water Brook Press, 2001.
Bonhoeffer, Dietrich. The Cost of Discipleship. 1st Touchstone ed. New York:
Eims, LeRoy. The Lost Art of Disciple Making. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1978.
Mitchell, Dr. Michael R. Leading, Teaching, and Making Disciples: World-Class
Christian Education in the Church, School, and Home. Kansas City: Cross Books Publishing, 2010.
Strong, James, Strong's Concordance. “Blue Letter Bible.”
http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G3850&t=NIV (accessed July 10, 2012).
Zondervan, Holy Bible NIV. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing 2006.
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