Do you want to see ordinary people make disciples?

 "Tell me how to become a Christian!"

Would everyone in your simple/organic church know how to lead someone to Christ using the Scriptures? 

If we want to see a multiplication of new disciples and therefore new churches, it is essential that ordinary believers know how to make a disciple, how to lead someone to Christ. Within simple/organic church, we can no longer leave this kind of ministry to the specialized professional. Each one of us needs to be equipped to "do the work of ministry" (Ephesians 4:12).

When we teach a group of people how to need someone to the Lord from the scriptures, we often use a pattern called the Roman Road. It takes people through a series of  verses from the book of Romans that explain the basics of salvation.

  1. Romans 3:23

For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard..

Every one of us has done things wrong, we have all chosen to live our lives our own way, that we have all failed to reach God's standard for our lives.

        2. Romans  6:23

For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

In order for God to be just, sin has a penalty– a death or separation from God, but God has made a way back into relationship with him through Jesus. There is nothing we can do to deserve this; it is a free gift from God to us.

        3.  Romans 5:8

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.

God loves us so much that he sent his son Jesus to die on the cross. Jesus took upon himself the penalty for our sin.  Because of this, our sins are forgiven, and we can have a brand-new life in Jesus.

        4.  Romans 10:9-10

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.

According to these verses, there are two parts to becoming a follower of Jesus. The first is that leap of faith, believing that you are made right with God because of what Jesus did through his death and resurrection. The second is speaking this out. This is typically done by praying, confessing the things you have done wrong to God and then surrendering your life to Jesus.

When we are training a group of people using these verses, we typically make sure that everybody can remember the verses, and then break them into pairs to practice leading each other to Christ. We did this a few weeks ago in our own group where there are several new believers, and it not only equipped them to lead someone to become a follower of Jesus but several commented afterwards, "This has really helped me to understand more about my own salvation."

Leap of faith

 


 

 


 

 

 

6 thoughts on “Do you want to see ordinary people make disciples?”

  1. Great stuff, Felicity. One not to forget as well though… Romans 6:4-5 – We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.

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  2. I grew up being taught this as a means of leading others to Christ, but over the last few years I’ve had a few concerns, or maybe questions, about using the “Roman’s Road.” I’m wondering how we apply the “Romans Road” in light of Jesus inviting His disciples to follow Him. And even as they are by his side for 1-3 years, they don’t get who He is until the resurrection, or for many even after that. I wonder if we should be encouraging people to confess the “Romans Road”, or focus more on following Jesus. Not that the two are mutually exclusive, but which ever we lead with will (purposefully on inadvertently) be the end goal.
    This leads me to a second thought. I don’t believe at all that following Jesus and a salvation experience are separate, but I’m concerned that if we focus first on the salvation experience and second on following, we inadvertently communicate that salvation is an end. I’ve seen a person’s choice to accept Christ celebrated in such a way that one might wonder if a person had crossed the finish line rather than jumped at the starter’s gun.
    I guess I’m asking: How do we make sure to emphasize discipleship and following Jesus so as to make sure that salvation is the key part of discipleship but not the sum total?

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  3. I resonate with what Jared is saying. In our home group/church we recently viewed and discussed the John Dickson video series “Life of Jesus”, based on John’s book of the same title. John is an Aussie historian who specialises in historical Jesus study and apologetics, and is a former youth evangelist (and singer in a rock’n’roll band), and his books on Jesus present challenges to me (good challenges, not bad ones).
    I have been grappling most of my life between the view of Jesus we get from historians compared with what we get from evangelical christianity. A particular challenge I am considering at present is the difference in the ways Jesus spoke to different people, and how his approaches are different from the various approaches of Paul.
    I am coming to the conclusion that Jesus spoke to a sophisticated religious culture, long prepared by God to receive his message, whereas Paul spoke to a religiously immature (by Jesus’ standards) pagan culture. Thus Jesus spoke with more sophistication and presented a broader vision of the kingdom, whereas Paul gave a cut-down gospel. (That’s my current thought, at any rate.)
    Modern missionaries and evangelists (such as those Felicity writes about in India) need the simpler Paul approach, but I’m wondering whether postmodern western people need a more nuanced approach similar to Jesus’ call to follow him in establishing the kingdom. This would mean not basing our appeal on conviction of sin, but on calling people to join a new community with a new way of living. On the way they’ll find soon enough that they need forgiveness, but if they don’t recognise it at the start, why try to show up their sin? Let the Spirit do it on the way.
    (My wife became a believer that way from an atheist upbringing. Her high school friends and a few other christians showed her a new way of living in loving families, and that was what she first reached out to God for. Conviction and repentance came later.)
    I have written a Bible study on these ideas for our group, and would be happy to share it with anyone here, not as something I am confident of, but as a work in progress which would benefit from input.

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  4. UnkleE, this is a fascinating observation and one I have never considered before. I am more and more convinced on the importance of preaching the Kingdom. I would love to see your Bible study on the subject.

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