Making Disciples (Part 1 of 2)

Note: This two-part article is a chapter from the book Teach As He Taught by Robert Delnay. Published by Moody Press in 1987, the chapter is reprinted by permission.

So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
—Luke 14:33

The goal of our teaching is to make disciples. To make disciples we must make demands. A veteran missionary was explaining his success in planting several churches: “We have not been afraid to make demands on our converts.” Nor was Jesus.

The question we face is how many such demands we may rightly put upon our disciples. Many of us live with the desire not to put other people to any trouble, and if we want a lot done right, we prefer to do it ourselves. Why be obtrusive? Why be a bother? Is it not more Christlike to do favors than to ask for them, to give rather than to receive?

Well, not always.

Many have observed that Jesus did not do for people what they could do for themselves. He turned the water into wine, but others had to do the pouring. He healed the paralytic, but others had gone to the work of lowering him down into Jesus’ presence. The disciples prepared the Last Supper; only then did Jesus serve the food. He did wash their feet that night, but that was no exception when we consider what a powerful teaching device He made it.

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"You just got hit with what I call the 'Baptist surprise'."

“The ‘Baptist surprise’ is a simple strategy. Get your new convert to walk the aisle with you. Have his name read from the pulpit with him standing in front of God and everybody, and then tell him he needs to get baptized. Don’t ask. Don’t explain (and if you must explain, then do so very quickly!). He can learn all that theological stuff later. Just get him in the water!
More here.

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Mega-Ministry Is Amazing

Megachurches are astonishing. The size of their crowds, budgets, meeting places, and ministry lists are enough to cause many to be impressed even though they may not be in agreement with their doctrine and practices. Former shopping malls and sports arenas are now housing some of the world’s largest megachurches. Even in fundamental circles, the large ministries are the ones that are often paraded as the epitomes of spiritual success in ministerial training classes, conferences, and publications. The emphasis on bigness can leave a smaller congregation feeling as though they are not doing much and that there is not much they can do unless they reach a certain size. This is simply not true. One of the many things I appreciate about the Lord is this. He can take a small church and give it a large ministry. As a pastor of a small congregation, this truth is encouraging to me, and I trust this article will be an encouragement to you. While some churches may not be megachurches, they can have mega-ministries. Mega-ministry is “where it’s at.”

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"Christendom no longer has a metaphysical dream"

The enigmatic Dissidens:
“…(F)or there to be understanding between people there has to be a shared ‘metaphysical dream’, a common set of ideas on which to base our judgments, a test for the truth of all of our claims. If that shared understanding does not exist, one cannot share the gospel, not at a soccer game and not at a church, not casually and not formally.

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Come into My Heart, Lord Jesus??? A Plea for Biblical Accuracy in Child Evangelism

Discuss this article.

Into my heart, into my heart,
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus.
Come in today; come in to stay.
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus.

Harry Clarke, Welsh song leader for Evangelist Billy Sunday, wrote these words in 1924. Who hasn’t heard these words sung at the end of an evangelistic challenge? I’m still amazed that many Christians still sing the lyrics after they already know the Lord.

The language of “asking Jesus into one’s heart” is part of a soul winner’s basic vocabulary, at least in my experience. It is firmly entrenched, it seems, especially in children’s ministries today. Consider this recommended prayer for children given by one church:

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