Training Disciples in Today’s World to be Authentic and Fruitful

Training Disciples

Disciples are followers. A Christian disciple is a follower of Christ. “For righteousness can never be divorced from its source, which is Jesus Christ Himself.”1 A fruitful disciple helps others follow Christ.

“Discipleship, obedience, surrender – these three words are almost synonymous – to receive Christ as Savior is to receive Him as Lord. We can never give Him half. A disciple hears his Master’s call, and obeys at once. The disciple’s life is a crucified life. And yet, the life of the disciple is not a painful one; it is rewarding beyond measure because it is a life lived to the fullest.” ~Caleb Sinclair

In life, Jesus called His disciples to ‘Follow Me’ which they did for three years.

“‘Follow Me’ is an invitation, and a challenge, and a promise. The cross has been the end of a life and the beginning of a life. The life that ended there was a life of sin and slavery; the life that began there is a life of holiness and spiritual freedom.” ~A.W. Tozer

After His resurrection, Jesus spoke to His disciples and encouraged them to “Go make disciples of all the nations” which many of His disciples are doing to this day.

After Jesus rose from the dead, He spoke to His disciples, “All authority (all power of absolute rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations [help the people to learn of Me, believe in Me, and obey My words], baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you; and lo I am with you always [remaining with you perpetually – regardless of circumstance, and on every occasion], even to the end of the age.” ~Matthew 28:18-20 AMP

Discipling Others
Discipling Others

Discipling Others

Mark Dever shares in Discipling: How to Help Others Follow Jesus how we become Disciples of Christ, then as Christ’s disciples, we are motivated out of love and obedience to disciple others.

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ And ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” ~Mark 12:30-31 NASB

Our love for God will express itself in love for others.

“God’s love for us starts a chain reaction. He loves us, then we love Him, then we love others.” ~John Devers

Dever defines discipling as a “relationship in which we seek to do spiritual good for someone by initiating, teaching, correcting, modeling, loving, humbling ourselves, counseling, and influencing.”

“John tells us to love one another (2 John 5). Paul tell us to encourage one another and build one another up (1 Thessalonians 5:11). Paul also tells us to instruct one another, since we want to see everyone mature in Christ (Colossians 1:28). The author of Hebrews tells us to consider how to stir one another up to love and good works (Hebrews 10:24).” ~John Devers

Who do we need to disciple or invest our time into right now? Dever gives nine factors to consider:

  • Family Member
  • Spiritual State
  • Church Membership
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Different From You
  • Teachability
  • Faithfulness to Teach Others
  • Proximity and Schedules

How do you disciple? Dever states, “You find someone. You establish goals. And finally, you just do it. And to do that, you have to pay the cost. The cost is time, study, prayer, and love.”

Making Radical Disciples
Making Radical Disciples

Making Radical Disciples

Daniel Lancaster shares in Making Radical Disciples how we can learn simple, reproducible tools that we grasp, then share with others. Lancaster models his five steps on the ministry of Jesus which he calls Follow Jesus Training.

“Simple Worship is a critical component of Follow Jesus Training – one of the key skills for making disciples. Based on the Greatest Commandment, Simple Worship teaches people how to obey the command to love God with all their heart, all of their soul, all of their mind, and all of their strength.

  • We love God with all of our hearts, so we worship Him
  • We love God with all of our souls, so we pray to Him
  • We love God with our whole minds, so we study the Bible
  • We love God with all our strength, so we practice what we have learned in order to share it with others

What is Simple Worship? Praise, prayer, study [of God’s Word], and practice.”2

Lancaster speaks of the following outcomes from his training in Making Radical Disciples:

  • You will be able to teach ten basic discipleship lesson based on Christ to others, using a reproducible training process
  • Recall eight clear pictures that portray a follower of Jesus
  • Lead a simple, small-group worship experience based on the most important commandment
  • Share a powerful testimony and gospel presentation with confidence
  • Present a concrete vision for reaching the lost and training believers using an Acts 29 map
  • Start a disciple group and train others to do the same

This training has been researched and tested in North America, Africa, and Southeast Asia and has been proven to be a simple and reproducible tool for training Christian leaders to be authentic in their relationship with the Lord and fruitful in training others to follow Jesus.

“There are two kinds of people for whom we [need to] pray every day – believers and unbelievers. We pray for believers that they will follow Jesus and train others to do the same. We pray for unbelievers that they will receive Christ.” ~Daniel B. Lancaster

Lancaster asks this question, “What is the difference between training and teaching?” The answer is “Accountability. Teaching feeds the mind. Training feeds the hands and the heart. In a teaching setting, the teacher speaks a lot and the students ask a few questions. In a training setting, the learners speak a lot and the teacher asks a few questions. After teaching session, the usual question is ‘Did they like it?’ After a training session, the key question is ‘Will they do it?’”

“The typical small group process is composed of worship, prayer, and Bible study. Training includes these three, but adds accountability. Accountability brings significant spiritual growth. The key to a disciple-making movement is reproducibility. Training is not a job; it is a lifestyle.”

Follow Jesus Christ

How do we train disciples in today’s world to be authentic and fruitful? We point them to Jesus Christ. He is the greatest model of life-giving love and service to others.


Leadership Based on His Holiness – Strength with Dignity

Leadership through the Lens of Humility – Strength with Dignity


1 Tozer, A.W and Caleb Sinclair. True Discipleship: Following Our Master to Calvary. E-book ed., Grapevine India, 2022.

2 Lancaster, Daniel B. Making Radical Disciples: Easily Make Disciples that Follow Jesus and Multiply in 60 Days or Less (Follow Jesus Training Book 1). E-book ed., Lightkeeper Books, 2014.

Amplified Bible (AMP) Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631. All rights reserved.

Dever, Mark. Discipling: How to Help Others Follow Jesus (9Marks: Building Healthy Churches). E-book ed, Crossway 2016.

New American Standard Bible 1995 (NASB1995), copyright 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.

Bible Gateway Blogger Grid Member #bgbg2 #BibleGateway

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10 thoughts on “Training Disciples in Today’s World to be Authentic and Fruitful”

  1. Lisa, discipleship is so very important, and often overlooked. I think overlooked because people feel like it has to be “lesson” oriented, but Jesus modeled a different kind of discipleship. While He certainly taught, He more importantly did life with His men, it was in the walking, talking ordinary of life where His lessons hit home. I think more people would disciple if they realized it’s simply inviting someone to do life with you and Jesus.

  2. Peggy Stratton

    Lisa, short & sweet. I loved the analogies (may be wrong word) references you gave. References may be better term.
    Thank you for taking the time to disciple us.
    As Donna said there is no greater need in today’s world I think. Many churches ⛪️
    Look at salvation’s but miss the need for discipleship.
    God bless you & yours.
    Love & Blessings ❤️🙏🏼

    1. Both of these resources were encouraging to me, Peggy, and I’m so glad to hear you were encouraged too. Dan Lancaster has another book that builds upon the discipleship book that leans more towards those planting churches in the mission field – though America is a mission field too.

    2. Great research on a sometimes confusing topic.

      Why oh why do humans take simple things and make them so complicated?

      I will definitely be checking out these books to supplement my WOTY – Teach/Learn

  3. Disciple is a word that seems to be falling out of use somewhat, but it definitely remains relevant throughout all the ages. I love the chain reaction of God’s love!

    1. I heard disciple used in the 80’s, but I haven’t really heard it again until recently. God’s love does cause an amazing chain reaction, Lisa!

  4. Lisa, my husband has the gift of discipleship. He loves encouraging other men in their walks with the Lord. To disciple someone is such an intentional choice, isn’t it? You shared some great information here.

    The quote by Caleb Sinclair really resonated with me, especially this: “Discipleship, obedience, surrender – these three words are almost synonymous – to receive Christ as Savior is to receive Him as Lord. We can never give Him half.”

    Convicting and challenging.

    1. My husband enjoys encouraging other men too, Jeanne, and it is so needed in today’s environment. Having Jesus Christ as both Savior and Lord is very convicting and challenging, Jeanne, and is definitely not something we can do in our own strength.

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