Three years ago, my teammate and I wanted to tackle a big problem.

We felt that if we could knock down this one domino, all the other dominos would fall. Meaning, if we could help other believers understand this one thing, everything else would come together.

We wanted people to realize it’s their responsibility to make disciples. Professional ministers, pastors, and missionaries couldn’t be the only ones doing it. Jesus called ALL his followers to make disciples. This includes me, you, and even the little old lady sitting in the pews of your local church. But how do we get them to understand this?

In this article, we will share a simple framework for casting a big, disciple making vision.

How do we help people do something if they misunderstand it?

I have a distinct memory of my first time reading the Great Commission as a teenager.

Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

When I read this, I instinctively associated “make disciples” with “share the Gospel.” I think much of the Church has fallen into the same line of thinking. But when we think that making disciples equates to sharing the Gospel, we  often think, “I’m not very evangelistically gifted, my pastor is better at it.”

The best definition of making disciples is found in the verse itself! Here are some key ideas:

  1. We go to the seeker. Contrast this with inviting a seeker to go to a church service or event.
  2. We baptize them. Contrast this with the way only professional ministers tend to perform baptisms.
  3. We teach them to obey Jesus’ commands. Contrast this with simply inviting them to hear a sermon from someone else. 

So how did my team mate and I tackle the challenge of getting believers to understand it is their responsibility to make disciples? 

1. We made a list of “false beliefs” many believers have about disciple making and/or church

Examples of these belief patterns are:

  • The Great Commission is just for professional ministers or skilled evangelists.
  • Church meetings have to happen in a dedicated building.
  • Church meetings have to include a sermon.
  • Salaries are required for a successful ministry.
  • You have to be highly trained or “gifted” to get started with disciple making.
  • Movements only happen in countries like India or China, and wouldn’t work they live.
  • Discovery Bible Studies led by seekers lead to heresy.

2. We came up with a scripture passage and/or case study to disprove that false belief

We literally created a spreadsheet of all of these false beliefs and filled it with stories and scriptures to refute those false beliefs. Here are a few examples:

False BeliefScriptureCase Study
The Great Commission is just for professional ministers or skilled evangelistsBook of Acts – after the death of Stephen, the church was scattered (without the apostles) and planted churches all over

Matthew 28:18-20
2 Timothy 2:2
Faiza is a young, illiterate woman who sells palm oils and started 25 Discovery Groups!
Church meetings have to include a sermonThere is only one recorded sermon that Jesus taught (though some theologians argue there are up to 5).Perry Shaw study on lectures versus interactive group work for learning effectiveness
Salaries are required for a successful ministryActs 18:1 – 3Victor John story

Use this simple framework in your own vision casting

  1. What false beliefs do believers in your area have about disciple making? Write them out.
  2. What scriptures or stories can you tell that disprove this false belief? Do a Discovery Bible Study on those passages or tell these stories to help effectively cast vision.

Alternatively, you can use the Waha Disciple Making Course as a vision casting tool. Over a thousand believers from over 100 countries have now gone through the Disciple Making Course.

Recently, a small church in Madagascar went through the Disciple Making Course for the first time. At the end of the first video, their pastor asked the question, “What has been your biggest takeaway from the course so far?” Their reply was the most common response we hear from those who go through the course:

“It’s my responsibility to make disciples, not just my pastor’s responsibility.”

If you want to introduce Disciple Making to your church community, check out this article about how to talk to your pastor about it. Or, click here to sign up for the Disciple Making Course today!