We have one simple task: make followers of God. What does that look like:
- We introduce people to God, who loves and understands them,
- help them understand who they are and what they can be,
- help them apply God’s transforming truths, and
- release them as prepared, confident, and skilled to live their best life ever on earth.
Lead those you make disciples to a lifetime practice of following God. Help them learn to learn. Help them rely on God. Mission agencies have long embraced the adage from Mrs. Dymond by Anne Isabella Thackeray Ritchie: “If you give a man a fish he is hungry again in an hour. If you teach him to catch a fish you do him a good turn.”7
You can give anyone a fish. The greater gift is a rod, a hook, and teaching someone to fish. So what is the “fish versus fishing” of discipleship?
Teaching people discrete truths gives them a fish. (They will soon be back for another answer.) Helping them learn to learn and rely on God (just like you do) teaches them to fish. Challenge them to become independent hunter-gatherers, producers, and successors. Teach, push, and cheer them to follow Him by finding His ways, consuming them, and applying them to their lives.
Help them learn about God, the heroes of the faith, and the failures in the faith. Help them repeat the parts of history worth repeating while avoiding the rest. Show them God’s ways are not limiting but actually set us free to be exactly who we were designed to be. Your goal is to help them follow Him wildly into their next best day ever.
How do you do that? How do you actually make disciples?