DMM counter-intuitives—“Disciple people to conversion.” Jesus: “Go-make disciples-baptize-teach to obey” in Great Commission (Mt. 28:18-20).
[Note: These counter-intuitive statements have been used by Disciple Making Movements practitioners to describe truths that are the opposite of what traditional missiology teaches. They have been formatted for Twitter, which limits the length of a post to no more than 140 characters. But I also wanted to include the biblical basis for doing it so differently.]
At the close of the first gospel, Jesus commissions the eleven, who graduate from his personal training system, to turn the world upside down (actually right side up). The beautiful thing for them is they have witnessed this approach while they have followed Jesus for three years. He called them to follow him. He taught them, trained them and mentored them. It is only late in this ministry that he asks the critical question, “Who do you say I am?” (Matthew 16:15).
In Western churches we usually attempt to convert people and then maybe sign them up for a six-week discipleship class. Jesus disciples for years and then asks his followers to reveal who they think he is. It is at this point in Matthew’s gospel that they answer their own earlier question, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!” (Matthew 8:27).
Peter speaks for the group when he announces, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God” (Matthew 16:16). Jesus indicates that Peter is blessed to have received this revelation from God the Father. Peter did not learn this insight from another human, it was through divine revelation. Peter’s understanding of Jesus’ identity and willingness to surrender everything comes because he has been discipled to this recognition.
When someone comes to recognize who Jesus is, then he/she is ready to be baptized and to be taught to obey all of Jesus’ commands. Discipleship entails obedience to the one who has “all authority in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18).
But who will allow you to disciple them to conversion? A Person of Peace. Someone who has already been stirred by the Holy Spirit. Someone who is waiting for the light to shine in his heart. Someone who desperately wants to know the answer to her brokenness. When you find a Person of Peace you have a candidate to disciple to conversion. Here is a person who will walk with you long enough to move from Creation to Christ, fall in love with God along the way and be willing to share what is being learned with others. Find a Person of Peace and you will have the opportunity to watch multiplication come in obedience to the Great Commission.