There has been a resurgence within the Christian subculture and the church to focus on discipleship. While it’s probably always been there as a goal, it has never been emphasized and enforced as much as it has now, at least not in my lifetime. Jesus’ call to the disciples, and subsequently to us, was to make disciples. It was a command and a commission not a gentle nudge or option. It doesn’t matter whether or not we feel we have the gift of evangelism or teaching, discipleship is at the core of who we are as followers of Christ, we teach others what Christ commanded and to obey all that he commanded.
But how do you start? It seems like such a daunting task. During my time in the church, I’ve seen people start in various places. Recently, the Gospel of John has been a focus to get started. Some people start at the beginning of the Bible and think that going from the beginning to the ending will be sufficient but they usually get burned out or frustrated by the time they hit Leviticus, the third book of the Bible……and there’s still 63 books to go.
So, the starting point? I’ve been looking for a good resource for a while. What can you give people to help them begin the journey of discipleship? Well, part of the problem is that we try to hand out resources without attaching a relationship to them. We can’t simply hand people a book and say, “Here, read this and get back to me when you’re done.” My parents took the same approach with sex, but that’s the story for another time. Discipleship for the first twelve that Jesus called happened through a relationship, not through reading a book, so if you simply want a book to hand to someone with no strings attached, you probably should keep looking.
On the other hand, if you are willing to walk along on the journey with someone, Francis Chan has a good resource for you. It’s called “Multiply.”
Chan does a good job of breaking up the topics that he chooses to cover. He breaks the material into 5 sections: Living as a Disciple Maker, Living as the Church, How to Study the Bible, Understanding the Old Testament, and Understanding the New Testament. Each section is further broken up into chapters and at the end of each chapter, Chan and his friend, David Platt, have prepared brief videos that accompany the material.
This book isn’t short nor is it completely exhaustive. There is plenty of other material to help in getting people started in their journey as disciples of Christ, but it’s a really good start. The true test of the material is when it’s practically used to walk others through it, something I haven’t yet done. I look forward to being able to do that.
If you are just starting out in your journey with Christ or have been looking for a resource to use with people who are just starting out, I would highly recommend this. Like I said, it’s not perfect, but it’s a great place to start.