This blog entry is the first in a four-part series based on an interview with Colin Noyes, author of As You Go: Make Disciples. Colin is one of the sharpest international leaders I know. His insights into the field of discipleship are well-researched and honest, and he does a great job of challenging us to see it through fresh eyes.
What are the core principles and processes you’ve found to be important In making disciples?
Colin: First you have to be clear on what discipleship is. Where does it start? What’s involved in it? It’s one of those words that is so multifaceted that every time you use it, and then ask people what they think it is, you get different answers. So first you have to know what you believe discipleship is. If you don’t know what you’re aiming at, of course you’ll never hit it.First, you have to know what you believe discipleship is. If you don’t know what you’re aiming at, of course you’ll never hit it. - Colin Noyes Click To Tweet
In your view what is discipleship?
Colin: I’d say it’s the journey a person takes from their first encounter with Jesus—which may be well before they accept and become obedient to Jesus—to the place where they are committed to the Christian faith and have a disposition of growing and learning in all areas of life. In my view, evangelism and discipleship are not to be separated; they go hand in hand. One stage of discipleship is an intentional commitment to accept Jesus Christ as Lord (what we often call evangelism).In my view, evangelism and discipleship are not to be separated; they go hand in hand. - Colin Noyes Click To Tweet
How do you help people actually make disciples? What’s effective?
Colin: A few things are often missing in people who call themselves Christians, who may in fact not be disciples themselves. One is to have a clear understanding of what discipleship is. Two is to understand that a disciple—by his or her very nature—is one who makes disciples. Three is that discipleship as a process doesn’t necessarily happen in an organized or highly structured way.
For instance, it doesn’t mean you need to go out looking for people to disciple. In reality, there are an enormous number of people who come across our paths every day of the week. Somewhere in all of that are people who are open to beginning a journey towards Jesus. What’s needed then is my ability to hear clearly from Jesus as to what I need to do with those people and how I need to interact with them. There’s no one right way. I have to know what’s going on in their life and I need to listen for the intervention of the Holy Spirit in my life to tell me what to do. He knows because he is already at work in the lives of people.A disciple—by his or her very nature—is one who makes disciples. - Colin Noyes Click To Tweet
Look for Part 2 of my interview with Colin Noyes in next week’s blog post.
As You Go, Makes Disciples- The aim of this book is to broaden your definition of discipleship by looking at it through a different set of lenses. Eminently practical, As You Go, Make Disciples gives you the tools you need to move forward. Available on Kindle and as a direct download from the author.
Making Disciples in a Postmodern Era– Christianity in the 21st century is facing a major change that may be as dramatic as the Protestant Reformation. ‘The message remains the same but the method of expressing the message is constantly changing.’ This book will help readers understand that what we view as ‘givens’ are not necessarily so, and help you practice the vibrant disciplemaking of historic Christianity in today’s world.
Making Disciples Coaching Guide with Storyboard– The journey set out in the Making Disciples Storyboard and reinforced by this Coaching Guide will help individuals walk through the process of becoming a disciple and making disciples.
Photo by Timon Studler on Unsplash