The Role of Obedience in Disciple-Making
What if you started to disciple those around you up to and through conversion?
I’m sure one could ask many great questions as to what this would look like, but for now consider the concept of obedience. Jesus commands us to make disciples and teach them to obey all that He has commanded (Matthew 28:19,20). Just like Jesus and the early disciples, let me suggest that you can supplement your Gospel preaching by teaching people to follow the commands of Christ even before conversion.
Here’s an example of what this might look like. I once met a Muslim man and asked him what he had learned recently. He said, “Nothing,” and so I started telling him about the Greatest Commandment, in Matthew 22:36–40. I asked him what would change in his life if he loved God with all his heart and loved his neighbor as himself. I asked him about trying it out and letting me know how it went.
Two days later he called me and said, “You know what, that helped me! I was at work and having a difficult time, then for some reason I remembered that verse.” We continued to have conversations like this and soon enough he was studying the major Gospel stories in the Bible.
Notice that you can share with unbelievers how God wants people to live, and invite them to live this way. The next step is to check back and see if the Holy Spirit was working in their lives and convicting them of truth. The great thing about this method is that you can also find out who is actually open to spiritual things not by what they say but by what they do.
Interested in trying this out? Here are some obedience-oriented questions you could pose to those who don’t yet follow Jesus:
- What do you think about prayer? How do you think God wants people to pray (Mathew 6:5–15)?
- What is your goal in life? Is it lasting or temporary (Matthew 6:19–21)?
- How are you doing? What’s your stress level, and what could you do to bring it down a few notches (Matthew 6:24–34)?
This is a new idea for many of us. Do you think it would be helpful in your context? Feel free to leave a question or comment below!
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Each Thursday we send out our Training Resources Newsletter, which shares a new ministry tool and an encouraging story about God’s Spirit preparing someone for service.
This guest post is written by Emir Nassar.