How Do We Make Disciples?

28 May 2023
Matthew 28:19-20

Fresno Church


Matthew 28:19-20Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”


One of the great misunderstandings of this passage is the main verb. In English, it looks like it is “go,” but it isn’t. The main verb is Make Discples (μαθητεύσατε). It is an imperative or a command and that is the main focus of this sermon, How Do We Make Disciples. This is the one job that Jesus gave us as the church. It is our one mission together. You could say it is our CO-MISSION or our COMMISSION. This passage is also known as the GREAT COMMISSION. Our first step in doing that is…


We Go


“Go” is a participle that is better translated simply as “going,” or maybe “as you go” or “since you are going.” The idea here is that Jesus doesn’t have to command us to go anywhere. We are already going. You are going to work, to school, to the store, to the doctor, to your neighbors, to your family. So, since you are going to the store, make disciples. As you go to the doctor, make disciples.

It might be across the globe or it might be across the street. Be open the possibility that the Holy Spirit may lead you to a particular person or group of people in your disciple-making process.

Oue first step is to go out into the community and make connections and look for opportunities to communicate spiritual truths to those around us. Make a list of people whom you can invite to church or engage in spiritual conversation. Now, I want you to think of places you go where you can look for opportunities to make disciples. Who is your one and where is your one person you can help become a disciple?


We Baptize


Baptism is what we do when a person moves from not following or believing in Jesus to believing and following Him. If a person doesn’t have a relationship with Jesus (and most don’t), getting them into a relationship with Him is their first step on their discipleship journey.

In 1975, James Engel published What’s Gone Wrong with the Harvest. It demonstrated that there are often many steps to someone becoming a Christian. For example, at the bottom, people have an awareness of a Supreme Being, but no knowledge of the gospel. At the top, a person is becoming a mature, reproducing disciple. People move through being aware of the gospel to understanding it to recognizing one’s one need to respond to it.


-8       No Knowledge of God

-7       Basic Awareness of God

-6       Basic Awareness of the Gospel

-5       Grasps the Implications of the Gospel

-4       Positive Attitude toward the Gospel

-3       Recognizes a Personal Sin Problem

-2       Decision to Act

-1       Repentance and Faith in Christ

+1      Post Decision Evaluation

+2       Incorporation into the Body

+3       Cognitive and Behavioral Growth

+4       Communion with God

+5       Stewardship (of life and money)

+6       Reproduction


As you engage people in spiritual conversations, look for opportunities to move them up the scale toward Jesus.


We Teach


We want to make disciples of nonbelievers by moving them up that Engel Scale to faith in Jesus, but we want to keep moving everyone else up the scale as well.

Teaching was a big part of Jesus’ ministry, so it ought to be a big part of ours. The gospels mention His teaching 35 times. Two examples:

Matt. 4:23 – Jesus was going throughout all Gallilee, teaching.

Matt. 7:28 – the crowds were amazed at His teaching.

If you aren’t growing as a disciple or follower of Christ, we aren’t doing our job. This is why we have sermons as a part of our worship time. This is why I encourage you to get involved in a small group. This is even why we keep attendance records and ask you to “register” as a member or regular attender. So that we know who is getting regular teaching through our church. This is why we need to create new small groups. We had a new small group start this week for men, mainly our younger men. You can still be a part of it. We will also have a membership class soon so that you can understand the rights, responsibilities, and requirements of membership here and decide if you want to take that step. If the groups we offer now don’t help you grow, we need to create one that does.


We Rely on Jesus


This last part sometimes gets overlooked in the Great Commission, but it’s very important. Jesus will be with us through His Holy Spirit every step of the way. We don’t have to do this on our own, indeed we shouldn’t do it on our own.


Whoever speaks, is to do so as one who is speaking the utterances of God; whoever serves is to do so as one who is serving by the strength which God supplies – 1 Peter 4:11


Therefore they spent a long time speaking boldly with reliance upon the Lord . – Acts 14:3


It can’t be just the pastor’s plan. It must be God’s plan for us here at Fresno Church. Reliance on Jesus is the reason why prayer is no importance to the revitalization of our church. Pray for divine appointments. Pray for God’s Spirit to be anointing those places long before we visit them. Pray that God will use us to make those places holy places where people can draw closer to Jesus no matter how far away they are right now.


What can you do?

·       Find and connect with your “one”

·       Pray for people you know who aren’t ready to listen

·        Get connect with others in the church

·       Determine your “next step” in your spiritual growth

·       Rely on Jesus for direction and guidance

Add to home screen