The church of Jesus Christ is called to the double task of following Jesus and becoming fishers of people under His charge (Mark 1:17).
It is instructive to see the way that Peter, Andrew, James and John were so quick to change the direction of their lives in order to follow Jesus (Mark 1:18,20 c.f. Mark 10:28). For, as Jesus would later clearly teach, this is the pathway of all true disciples.
We are likewise called to leave home comforts, the allure of self-centered dreams, and the safety of the familiar for risk, suffering, and the inexpressible joy of being with Jesus on mission. A disciple is one who is ready to give up everything and do anything for Jesus.
In fact, we cannot be disciple-makers unless we ourselves are first disciples who have abandoned all for Jesus (Luke 14:33).
On the other hand, disciple-making is the holy task of every genuine disciple. A disciple who is not working to make another disciple or bring his or her family, neighbor, or friend to Jesus, is either living in ignorance or simply disobedient to Jesus.
Jesus desired his disciples both to be faithful and fruitful, leading to two outcomes: qualitative renewal in Christ, and quantitative growth of new disciples. Oswald Chambers echoes the same point: “We know from Scripture that God’s plan for
discipleship is two-fold: transformation into the likeness of Jesus, and reproduction (the principle of one teaching another).”
And throughout history, the mark of God’s kingdom coming in any place has been these two factors (a maturing and a multiplying church). Jesus promised that He Himself would build His church, and therefore it will prevail against all that hell can throw at it. The body of Christ is alive, growing, and thriving thanks to her connection to her head!
Anything that does not grow is therefore dead or dying.
We live in exciting and unprecedented days. The church of Jesus Christ is growing at rates never seen before! While we are used to hearing about the decline of Christianity in the West, in many parts of the world (in various places in China, India and continental Africa, for example) massive disciple-making movements under indigenous leadership are a wondrous reality. The list of unreached people groups, where there is little or no Christian witness, is declining by the year. As the days grow ever more evil and dark, God’s light reflected in the faces of his faithful people everywhere continues to defy and decry that evil. The advance of His kingdom cannot be stopped!
This is the work that God has called NAMS to—to be part of the global advance of God’s kingdom and His church. Are you called to join us? Are you called to support us and to pray for us?
Please contact us or send us an e-mail if so.
How to multiply disciples who make disciples
NAMS is called to the task of finding pioneering church-planters who can start disciple-making movements around the world.
We also call and aid the global church in being faithful to do the same. In fact, we believe that every believer is called to be part of healthy, growing, and multiplying churches. It is not just the task of the ‘professionals.’
However, God has called NAMS companions (which is what we called those who have accepted the call to be full members of the NAMS society) to intentionally and faithfully serve Jesus by seeking to plant (or be directly involved in the planting of) multiplying communities of disciples-making Christians.
We do this first by sending a Great Commission cell (a couple or team of disciples) to a new location to pray, seed, and grow new communities of disciple-making cells.
As we learned in biology class, the cell is the basic unit of life. In fact, the cell contains all things necessary for life (cytoplasm, protein, nuclei, etc). All living things are made up of either one or a multiplicity of cells. Healthy cells breed new ones.
The same is also true in the body of Christ.
The basic unit for new life anywhere on the planet is a faithful disciple-making cell—as few as two or three people who choose to obey Jesus and who help and hold each other accountable to do the same by prayer, study of the Scriptures and going on mission together.
What are the conditions that allow for healthy disciple-making cells to grow and multiply? In this next series of blogs, I will look at three factors I believe are critical for the growth and multiplication of disciple-making movements, as clearly evidenced in God’s word.
These are 1) passionate prayer, 2) authentic community, and 3) reproducing disciples.
May God help us and all believers to be both faithful and fruitful to His call and mission on earth.
— Manik Corea.
All Nations Bangkok Team Leader,
NAMS South-East Asia