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.
We talk about numbers and multiplication in Global Disciples circles. For us, every number has a name. Every name represents a person. Each person has an eternal destiny. And God “desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:3).
Every man, woman, and child is created in the image of God and designed for a loving relationship with their Creator, through Christ.
One of our Global Disciples guiding principles is to nurture what multiplies, measure results, and collaborate. ONE is a big number in God’s economy. Luke 15 reminds us that God has the heart of a shepherd for a lost sheep, the heart of a woman who lost a valuable coin, and the heart of a Father for a lost son. He wants to give us that same heart!
Our world population has been growing by one billion people every 13 years; the most rapid growth is among those least-reached with the Gospel of Jesus. Reaching them requires multiplication: near-culture disciples making disciples who make disciples…
So, we focus on nurturing what multiplies. We assist clusters of churches in 62 nations to equip their people as disciple-makers who go and make disciples among least-reached ethnic groups living nearby. And it’s working—really well!
We know because we measure results—we focus on the number of people who come to Christ and are engaged in a newly-planted fellowship of believers. These numbers are reported by the church planter, verified by the key leader in their church cluster, and confirmed by our Global Disciples Facilitator.
We understand that our vision—to see everyone have an opportunity to choose and follow Jesus—is much bigger than what any one organization can accomplish. So, we collaborate with more than 1,200 clusters of churches near least-reached peoples. They use our training and sending approach to develop locally-sustainable, near-culture missions in just three years. It’s theirs. We stay connected, coaching and encouraging them, and linking them with others doing the same thing.
We seek to live out Jesus’ prayer in John 17:20-24 that we may be one, so the world will know Him!