How to Make Disciples


How to Make Disciples follows Doug’s journey from struggling to make a few disciples to having five generations of self-sustaining, self-replicating disciples of God. Packed with real stories, insights, and illustrations, How to Make Disciples provides a simple, proven, step-by-step process for making disciples. You will discover:

  • the secret sauce that resulted in Doug’s five-generations-deep disciple-making culture,
  • a simple and succinct definition of discipleship that clears up “what” we should really be doing,
  • how to give disciples what they need, when they need it, as they travel along the very predictable discipleship pathway,
  • the four foundational elements found in every successful discipleship model, and
  • Doug’s seven core practices as he helps people become prepared, confident, and skilled followers of God.

Whether you are a pastor, small-group leader, or layperson, How to Make Disciples is the answer you have been looking for.

Key Topics or Truths

Making disciples
Bible reading methods
Building great groups
Biblical modes of discipleship

This Book is Good For...

This book is good for anyone who wants to improve their disciple making and is looking for a step-by-step model that is succeeding across denominations and cultures.

How I Use this Book to make disciples

We use this book exclusively in Discipleship Two, toward the very end. We ask disciples not to read the “Finish Discipleship Well with Discipleship Three” chapter so that we do not derail the phase three process by revealing it to them before they have walked through it. If disciples know the mechanics, the process, and the goal of Discipleship Three before beginning it, they often get derailed by trying to meet certain goals instead of just enjoying and walking through the process.

How to Make Disciples is the magnum opus of the Sustainable Discipleship Model. Since many of the disciples in your Discipleship Two group will be taking a year to make Discipleship One disciples, you should use this book to show them what to do and how to do it. Let them see behind the curtain. I always stress that new disciple-makers should get to know the system and work the system before adapting it. The first round of disciple making should be very much like a residency where disciples embrace and execute a successful model.

We review each week’s reading in the following meeting. As always, we ask disciples to highlight aha moments and ideas. I also creat thought vacuums asking many questions to make sure that the disciples understand the process and why it works.

We love this book because it has resulted in a 90% success rate for making prepared, confident, and skilled disciples. It actually tells you how to do it.

Real Life Story

Sustainable Discipleship has transformed the people of our church in ways that 800 sermons could not. My prayer is that 100 years from now the Sustainable Discipleship method will be accepted and followed by so many that it will be considered as a “Christian classic”. Doug Burrier is a great person and a gifted writer. The Sustainable Discipleship book is my absolute favorite on this subject.
Daren Patrick
Senior Pastor, Crossroads Church

Know Issues or Controversies

A few church leaders have pushed back on some of the extra-Biblical books that the Sustainable Discipleship Model uses to teach critical thinking and to challenge disciples to evaluate their faith in light of the Bible. We simply remind people that the model is a model – it works – but it can be fit to any culture and adapted as necessary. If leaders are uncomfortable with a book that we use, we remind them to replace it with a book that achieves the same objective so that the model will continue working. Each book has a very specific purpose.

A few church leaders have pushed back on the definition of discipleship which says, “…and release them (the disciples) to live their best day ever on earth.” These leaders have a feeling that focusing disciple-making on the individual’s success and abundant living could draw disciples into a self-centered or prosperity gospel. We respond with the truth that Christ is supreme, that we are to join him in his mission to save mankind, and deliver to them “the abundant life” that he died to give them. Well-made disciples will be selfless while enjoying God’s hope, promises, and abundance.

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Doug Burrier
Book Details
Reading Time
Four Weeks
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How to Make Disciples

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