The last words of a person are usually the most important. Before returning to be reunited with the Father in heaven, Jesus gave His final charge to His disciples, as stated in Matthew 28:19: “Make disciples of all nations.”
Discipleship is the essence of the Great Commission. If rescuing us and getting us into heaven were all there was to our life in Christ, Jesus would not have given such a commission to His disciples back then and to us, modern believers.
According to 2 Peter 3:9, the Lord is not willing for anybody to perish. This is supported by Jesus’ statement in Luke 19:10 that He came to seek and save the lost. This is precisely why He issued the Great Commission. It is now our responsibility to tell the world about Jesus’ finished work on the cross.
His work on the cross was so complete that whenever we share the Gospel with someone, and they believe, they get the free gift of salvation (Romans 10:10-11).
All that Jesus taught and exhibited to His disciples during His three years of ministry, including God’s Word, Jesus desired His disciples to share with others as well. The gift of salvation is available to all, and every believer is given the Holy Spirit to carry out our Lord’s final charge—disciple the nations.
The Biblical Qualities of a True Disciple
We are not really fulfilling the commandment if we are not creating disciples, no matter how zealous we are in ministry or in our Christian walk. The objective is not simply to get to heaven but to be “imitators of Christ” (Ephesians 5:1-2) and to be “light and salt” (Matthew 5:13-16) for others so that they may know Christ as well.
Various characteristics of good discipleship are taught throughout the Gospels. Let us have a look at some of them:
1. Obedience to Christ
Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” – John 8:31-32
True discipleship is obedience, and that, in a nutshell, is God’s love language (John 14:15). The obedience that distinguishes a disciple, then, arises not from a sense of responsibility, but from a loving, trusting relationship and fellowship with Jesus.
2. Love for God and One Another
“By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” – John 13:35
God is not merely a giver of love; He is love. The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ made this love so real for us. He demonstrated His love for us by entirely surrendering His desires to the will of the Father so that “all men could be saved” through Him. (Matthew 13:17)
Love is an action, and it is this action that drove Jesus to the cross. Our love for God has a corresponding and appropriate action as well. It is not following a set of “feel-good” rules and regulations but rather the love expressed in our compassion for others—a love that does not seek to be earned and transcends all barriers of race, social class, and economic standing.
3. Bear Much Fruit
“By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” – John 15:8
A life lived in Christ is destined to bear fruit. In John 10:10, He states that He came to give us life that is abundant in every way. True discipleship yields fruit that lasts (John 15:8). He instructs us in Matthew 6:19–21 to lay up our treasures in heaven. Our life can be an investment towards the rewards we could reap in eternity.
You cannot take your earthly possessions to heaven. So, what can you construct that qualifies as a heavenly investment? Building lives has eternal significance. That is how you are carrying out your part of the Great Commission to make disciples of all nations!
Changing the World Through the Global Approach
Contact us at Global Disciples to learn more about the Global Disciples Approach. We hope to partner with you in God’s mission soon.
Global Disciples Canada is a Christian mission organization that trains local leaders living near least-reached communities to multiply disciples for Christ. One-third of our world hasn’t heard the Good News of Jesus. Yet.
Global Disciples refers to these as “least-reached” people, and fewer than 10 percent of all missionaries work among these groups. We live in a time when many of these people are within reach of a local church.
Through our simple and effective training and coaching strategy, believers share the Gospel in their own nations and cultures. Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations,” and we’re committed to doing just that. If you are looking for a Christian mission organization to partner with to become a better disciple and help make disciples, connect with us today!
When Jesus called His first disciples, He gave them an invitation…and a promise. As He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon, who He called Peter, and Andrew casting their nets into the lake because they were fishermen. Jesus called out to them, Follow me” —the invitation. “And I will make you fishers of men” —the promise. “I will send you out to fish for people.” It’s a package deal!
When Jesus calls us to follow Him, it’s an invitation with an expected outcome: to be disciples who make disciples.
At Global Disciples, we talk about this as “discipleship-mission.” Jesus invites us to discipleship—the process of being a disciple. A disciple is a learner, a follower, an imitator. As disciples of Jesus, we are to follow the pattern of Jesus in His practice of living. We learn how to live to be like Jesus. That’s discipleship: You and me, placing our faith in Jesus Christ for salvation, and following His instructions and example to live according to His pattern.
But He promises to make disciples into “fishers of men.” And that’s the mission part. We are not only to be His disciples but to be actively engaged in helping others follow the pattern of Jesus for life here on earth, and for eternity to come. We are disciples on a mission.
In Global Disciples, our goal is to train men and women to be both disciples—and disciple-makers. We want to see people come to know Jesus as their Savior, and to be His disciples … who follow His pattern and make new disciples. And that’s how the Body of Christ grows.
So we work alongside the Body of Christ to equip believers to be disciples who follow Jesus and fulfill His mission. By putting our efforts where disciple-makers will go and make disciples among people who have not yet heard the Good News of Jesus, we are fulfilling the mission Jesus gave to all His disciples to multiply “even to the ends of the earth.”
What is the essence of Discipleship?
As Global Disciples, we put our efforts into training and equipping people to be disciples … and to make disciples of Jesus Christ. The essence of discipleship is following and obeying Jesus. And in the process, we become more like Him in our thoughts, our motives, our speech, our actions, our relationships and priorities.
The book of Second Peter gives us a beautiful insight into the essence of discipleship, a letter written to those who, “through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours.” And in chapter 1, verse 2, Peter writes in this: “Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and excellence. Through these he has given us his great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption of the world caused by evil desires.”
That phrase—participate in the divine nature—should arrest our souls. We love the idea of being “co-laborers with Christ” as it says in First Corinthians 3:9. And as Christians we often talk about doing what we do for, to, and with Christ—as an act of worship to God. That all we do is done for God and for His glory. And that nothing is impossible, because we do it all with power of the Spirit which raised Jesus from the dead.
BUT in Second Peter, we are invited to participate with God—not only in what we do, but to participate in His divine nature. To become like him in character and in our desires. To have the mind of Christ we read about in Philippians 2:5-8—being humble servants, obedient even to death. Think about that.
That’s our great challenge in becoming a disciple…and in making disciples too.
How does Discipleship lead to multiplication?
As Global Disciples, we talk about multiplying disciples and multiplying churches. But there’s another level of multiplication we’re excited to see. Let’s call it — multiplying the multipliers.
That’s one level of multiplication – the one we talk about the most.
But we’ve also developed those who train the church leaders, to launch and direct training programs. We look for men and women who’ve led discipleship-mission programs, and have the ability and experience to train the next generation of program directors. So they’re the ones who will multiply the multipliers!
In the over 60 countries we work in, we now have “on the ground” staff leading the 2-week training sessions for new directors for discipleship-mission training programs! Adding locally-based trainers allows us to multiply trainings for new workers more rapidly! We have people with the experience and credibility – and with a better cultural understanding – who can successfully provide quality training. This multiplies our ability to meet more and more requests we receive for our Global Disciples model.
A recent directors training in Kenya was conducted by our Kenya staff facilitators, without relying on any North American trainers. Victor led the training and he wrote, “Thank you so much for delegating this directors training to us. We can assure you we gave our very best… Participants went home revived, with new vision, passion, energy and a renewed focus on multiplying disciples and churches among least-reached people groups. It is our prayer that these leaders will not be distracted by the enemy but will focus on the vision.”
What is the goal of being a Christian?
Our goal as Christians is to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.
What is the vision of Global Disciples Canada?
What is our mission as Christians?
Our mission as Christians is to train other disciples to go and make disciples.
You can learn more about Global Disciples Canada HERE.