What is discipleship?
We have just spent a few days with our friends Molong and Lisa Nacua in the Philippines. Apart from the incredible fellowship, food and snorkeling, we had opportunity to question Molong about what he is doing.
Molong is in the middle of an interesting experiment. He is making disciples who make disciples—literally. The question he asks people is, “Would you like me to make you a disciple?” He speaks to friends, those who “trust him, believe in him and are loyal to him.“ And then he shows them how to become a follower of Jesus—one who hears what the Holy Spirit is saying to them and who obeys. If they are willing to be made a disciple, then he speaks to them of Jesus’ death and resurrection and how to become a follower of Jesus. The important thing is that they become followers of Jesus, knowing how to hear his voice, developing intimacy with him.
When they have been baptized, he then says to them, “You make a disciple of Jesus now, one who will follow Jesus and do what he says, just like I made you a disciple.” And they go and find a friend who would like to be made a disciple.
Molong’s philosophy is that we are to make disciples (Matthew 28:19), the Holy Spirit is responsible for maturing them, leading them into all truth (John 16:13) and Jesus job is to build his church (Matthew 16:18). “Follow up” and “discipleship” are not New Testament language. Molong helps this process by creating deep relationship with them, taking every opportunity of teachable moments, living with them from house to house. For him this is church; no scheduled meetings but a lifestyle of living day by day.
Over the past few months, he has made a few disciples, but they have gone on to make more disciples, going down several generations. There are now at least 27 people who have become disciples and been baptized. On one memorable occasion when Molong was out of town, Albert, one of the people who had become a disciple with Molong, baptized someone he had led to the Lord, who baptized the person he had made a disciple who in turn baptized a person he had made a disciple. This is how the Kingdom of God expands.
What do you think?