A convert is one who enjoys newness of life in a relationship with Jesus. A disciple goes a step further and shares his faith with others, teaching them to do the same. A man of great charisma who can evangelize 100 people every year is far less productive than the person who will make one disciple per year. Christ modelled this by concentrating on a few. The key is that he commissioned them to do the same. 2000 years later, Christianity has become the largest religion in the world.
Do the math
100 converts per year seems like a lot but after a slow start, by year 10 the disciples blasted by the converts at 1,000 to 1,024. By year 15 the score is 1,500 to 32,768 Without the evangelist, the convert church will expire in one generation. Without regenerating, their church will die off. The discipleship church will fill the earth with productive Christians by everyone doing their part and making just one disciple per year.
So why is it that we are so intent on growing big churches when Jesus so clearly taught and demonstrated the economy of making one disciple at a time?
Notice that Jesus didn’t ask for volunteers for His discipleship program. He picked His candidates and didn’t really give them an option.
Year one, Joe makes one disciple.
Year two, Joe and the first years disciple make a new disciple each totalling four.
Of course these figures are assuming a lot but you get the idea. If you are not making disciples, just what are you doing? As my friend Glenn said “if you’re not fish’n, you’re not follow’n.”