1. From Traditional Discipleship to Intentional-Relational Discipleship
Johnny was forbidden by his pastor to start his making disciples journey, instead he was sent to a 2 year training on Bible Classes everyday. After the training, he found that making disciples is actually a complicated job.
For many years we have tried to make disciples through a lecture hall and start collecting materials and people to create one. If we want to see Christianity change in our generation then we should re-think discipleship, SHIFT it to making disciples, it is how Jesus make disciples intentionally and relationally. And it is quick, simple and fast to reach the growing population.
2. From One-man Discipling Everybody to One-another Making Disciples to Everybody.
Inspite of how busy the pastor and the church are in their weekly activities, most still having a hard time HOW to make disciples. [http://www.missionalchallenge.com/2010/07/pastors-dont-know-how-to-make-disciples.html ] Survey shows that ‘pastors’ don’t know how to make disciples’ – this shows the number one weakness of any church. Two reasons: They don’t know how, 2. It’s complicated. And third fatal reason is, they try to do it on their own.
For so long, one-man trying to disciple everybody and leave others undiscipled because they don’t make disciples [Bill Bright, 97 percent of Christians are not discipled and they don’t know how to make disciples], this not only creates a clergy-laity division but also makes disciple-making complicated with all the requirement and qualification needed to become one. It is time to change the way we think about the Great Commission, right from the beginning, the intention is for every disciple of Jesus would make disciples.
3. From Discipling the Believer Already to Making Disciples to Non-Believing.
It is when we complicate the Great Commission when it looses its focus: unbelievers. For so long, we didn’t make any disciples at all because all we do is disciple the saved person already [The 4th Shift would explain this more]. It is the fact that there are many wandering Christian babies still wearing their spiritual diapers and never graduated in their Sunday School Classes. Creating more irresponsible Christians transferring from church to church without changing their lives, having no spiritual parents who treated them as ‘sons and daughters’ in the Lord. From the beginning, the intention of the Great Commission is to make disciples to those who are not.
4. From Discipling to Make Disciples
We [make] disciple the lost to convert, we do not convert the lost to be discipled. It is hard to disciple, it is easy to make disciples. Do you think God as one who is eager for “all men to be saved and come to repentance” would give us a hard time making disciples? Think not.
For so long, Christianity is trying to do the job which is not hers – which not only starting and building churches but also trying to ‘disciple’ the person. There is the Holy Spirit – this is the BIGGEST SHIFT [in making disciples] between the Old Testament way of ‘discipling’: Moses and Joshua, Elijah and Elisha which are just ‘transferrence of the Holy Spirit’ from person to another person as a ‘successor.’ In the New Testament, the Holy Spirit is given, not ‘borrowed,’ to every one. He will live in you to the very end of the age. He will never ‘leave you nor forsake you.’ He is then the Ultimate Discipler, the Person – the question that would challenge every so-called discipler is: If Matthew, let’s say, is a disciple of John, but it is James who teach him, what that be to John? That’s an insult of course. Jesus sent His Holy Spirit to ‘teach ALL truth’ and He has not given that job to anybody else. [Don’t get me wrong, there is teaching but then it needed to shift, 7th Shift]
My job is to ‘make’ you a disciple of Jesus. This is where we get rid of claiming [drawing] disciples for ourselves: Johnny is my disciple. The question is: Who’s disciple are you? If you are my disciple then I will be the one teaching you. That means I will be your discipler. But if you are Jesus disciple, then who is your Discipler? The Holy Spirit. Here is a question that I want you to answer honestly: Jesus is the Vine and we are the branches. If the person [disciple] abide in the Vine [Jesus] then why you have to worry his maturity?
Our job is to make disciples. The Holy Spirit’s job is to disciple. Jesus job is to build His Church. We are only taking men to Christ for him to be discipled.
5. From Pastor-led to Spirit-led
For so long, God’s people have been led by one-man rule/role of pastors. To think that the church can do nothing without him is a pathetic one. Pastor’s were not alone in the Equipping/Fathering team in Ephesians. It’s time to give a full thrust of ourselves to the Holy Spirit. You are led by the spirit only for yourself and your situation – you are not led to lead God’s people. He is the head and the only Head of His Body, He has not given that to any human king. The reason why Jesus could not find rest for His head, not body, while He walks on this earth is because many human pastor have been claiming that they are [even] the ‘Executive’ Head of their church. Well, they are right, ‘their’ church.
All are called to be spirit-led. I cannot tell you what to do or else you will be led by me. You cannot tell me what to do or else I will be led by you.
This is also one of the biggest SHIFT in leadership. The test of a leader, [if there could be one but honestly there is NONE in the Scripture except Jesus who only said, “Follow Me.”] is not how many people are behind him but how many people he’s behind. It’s not how many people he’s convincing to help fulfill his own version of vision of the The Great Commission but how many people is he actually drawing to Christ? Being spirit-led is being a disciple of Jesus Christ. A child may need guidance but a son is led by the spirit. This explains more on the sixth Shift.
6. From Pastoring to Parenting
For so long, pastoring has been the domain of church administration leaving so many unparent Christian becoming spiritual orphans. God, as father extends his fathering to the 4-fold Gifts, fathering and mothering the next generation – fulfilling what has been left by the prophet Malachi: turning the hearts of the father to the children and the children to their fathers. After 430 of silent years John the Baptist re-echoed the message again affirming that this is the way to “prepare the way of the Lord” Jesus who comes after him.
The Equipping Gifts, for many years, have not only become a profession to the few but becomes so used up as ‘functions’ [which may be true and Scriptural] but honestly they are more on the ‘relational’ aspect of ministering to the Body. [The 7th Shift will discuss more on this]. Paul, an apostle, could have said to the Corinthian Believers this way, “You have thousands of teachers but lack apostles and I have become an apostle unto you.” Nope, he said that they lack father and he himself is ‘becoming a father’ unto them. Notice the word ‘becoming’ not ‘I am your father’ for we have only one Father. Big difference [space does not permit, watch out for my book called “discipleSHIFT” for a more detailed outline.] IN our way of doing church these days, not all can become pastors but all can ‘become fathers and mothers’ to someone that you make disciples. The reason for the shifting from ‘pastoring to fathering’ is to get rid of birthing spiritual orphans. This is the calling: Fathering and Mothering the Next generation.
7. From Classroom Teaching to Relational Teaching
Teaching may be geared toward knowledge, but in The Great Commission it is geared toward obedience. But even to that, there is no Hebrew word of ‘obedience’ there is only ‘hear.’ That means if you hear, then you obey. If you didn’t obey, then you didn’t hear. In the same way that the teachings of Jesus is not geared toward principles but practice: He who practice these things…” So, how can we explain this in a relational way? For so long, Discipleship is about Classes – that is collecting people and materials without doing life together in a daily basis. This Greek style of teaching that is rooted in Pagan practices must end. In Duet. 6:4-6 is about ‘walking together’ ‘doing things together’ it is Jesus Life Together in a daily basis.
Sermons and lectures does not produce disciples, only listeners. Even traditional way of discipling which starts in a ‘hit and run’ evangelism and then put them all in the box with chalk boards and notes does not fulfill the call to make disciples. This was tested yet we dare to do it all again. We did learn but never come to the knowledge of truth! In the first place, none of them that Jesus did! The Eunuch does no one to enroll him in Discipleship 101, as well as the thief on the cross. Sort of like, their maturity is none of our business. However, relational way to teaching someone is Jesus way. He said, “Look at the birds” and it’s about faith and “Look at the grass” and it’s about trust. He uses what His Father has made already as His materials rather than make His own materials. He could have said to Peter while sitting on the hills: Would you pass out the paper entitled: Lesson three: Faith in God. Instead He walk with them and taught in the daily happenings of life. Teaching is geared toward hearing God’s Voice: The Bible says to love one another. “But who? and why?” you may ask? What do you think God is saying to your situation? This is not trying to led the person, but prompting the person to ask God. Like Mary, she was prompted to ask Jesus that there is no more wine. Giving a prophesy to someone should not be religious or should happen in meetings, but it can be relational: “Hey Johnny, I felt like God is saying to your situation like this…does it affirm?” This is not telling Johnny what to do but asking Johnny if what he hears from God is the same as what you hear from Him. Do not do, “Thus saith the Lord!”
8. From Church-goer Christian to Church-going Community of Families
I believe that the next breed of Believers will not be called by their denominational names but only by His Name: followers of Jesus Christ. They will not be merely called ‘Christians,’ but ‘priests of God’ whose commission is to go and make disciples; they will be the ‘church going,’ not church-goers. “As you go, make disciples of all nations.”
For so long, missionaries goals is to start and build churches and so the goal of every pastor is to bring people to church, and the goal of every christian is to go to church. This is all there is to ‘maintain’ their Christian status. It is time to change the way we think about church – we are the church and so we go and make disciples.
As new Structured Church is forming they started to create problems by organizing it. Unlike when a person becomes a disciple, he is then ‘added’ to Jesus family – your extended family. As the Structured Church started to organize they maintain it with meetings every week. Unlike ‘household of faith’s’ you don’t maintain a brother or a sister with a ‘meeting.’ They don’t have meetings but they meet a lot. It is a spontaneous gathering of believers from house-to-house daily. They continually tell the ‘stories of the apostles’ they call it the ‘Apostles Doctrine,’ not Bible like what we have – it’s literally a story of what had happened moment-by-moment with Jesus that they ‘gossip’ [in Greek word] around each other. This is actually how they make disciples from Jerusalem, Samaria and Judea and to the ends of the earth!
9. From Visitation to Habitation
God transferred His residence from temple building to temple body that is not made with human hands but divine hands. “God became flesh and dwelt among us.” In the Greek, the word ‘dwelt’ is Tabernacle which is in The Message Translation it reads like this, “God dressed in human form and moved into the neighborhood.” God is looking for a house to live, not to visit.
In our history of Revival Meetings, God do visit and did something. But if you go to those places now [churches], it is dry. Just as in the Old Covenant, God visited His people. In the New Covenant, God gave Himself to every flesh through His Spirit. Church now is located where He lives. He clothed Himself with human form and lived in it.
If Jesus living in us then we become His Temple and Tabernacle. The Temple is stable, the Tabernacle is mobile, means we can be both. That is why we become ‘aliens’ and ‘strangers’ of this world. Wherever the Lord would take us, we go and make disciples. The command anyhow was never to ‘stay,’ but always ‘go.’ So, don’t worry who will going to send you to your mission field, you are already sent by Jesus to your field. For where there is people, there is your field.
Ok, time for you to go now and make disciples!
10. From Many Branches of Christianity to Unity in One Body
One of the things that divide Jesus’ body into many parts is the desire of men to put names on churches. Jesus sees only One Bride on earth, not a harem.
For so long, Jesus body was not only ripped off on the cross but even until today, no difference. The word ‘denomination’ comes from the word ‘to dominate.’ So in actual question if someone ask you it will go this way, “Who controls you?” That means, “What is your denomination?” So, today if other churches are blessed and others are not then we got a malnourished Jesus body. It is time for the world to know that we are His, not by the way we do church or how big is our parking lot but how we love one another daily. How we help each other to love Jesus more and one another. This is the ‘statement of our faith,’ not written on walls but in the way we treat each other. I can read your statement of faith by the way you treat your wife or husband or children, you don’t have to write it down on the wall and let me read it. This statement of faith will soon becomes a ‘Unity of Faith.’
In making disciples, none could make us strong and healthy if we meet together as family and helping one another to love Jesus more and each other.