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5 Essential Marks of a Disciple-Maker

05.31.18 | by Larry Gates

    What does it take to become a disciple-maker?  What are the minimum essentials that must be present in a disciple’s life to qualify them as a disciple-maker?  People often mention that disciple-makers must have a heart for people, a vision for multiplication, and the skills necessary to engage in life-on-life intentional discipleship.  While these qualities are important, they represent somewhat broad generalizations. What is needed is more specificity.  Consider the following!


    • Mark #1: A passion to know, love and become like Christ (Philippians 3:8-10).

    Disciple-makers follow Christ with a passion to know and love Him.  As disciple-makers and laborers in the harvest, they are purposeful to nurture and deepen their intimacy with Jesus.  Their life and ministry overflows from time alone with Him.  The focus is developing personal closeness and affection for Jesus.  The relationship is more than just knowing about Him.  It’s knowing Him on an ever increasing depth and walking faithfully with Him.


    • Mark #2: Knows and lives from the Scriptures (2 Timothy 3:16-17.)

    A disciple-maker is one who can handle the Word of God (2 Timothy 2:15).  He knows how to read it, study it, talk about it, and pass it on to others.  A disciple-maker understands the truth and sufficiency of the Word for the whole of life.


    • Mark #3: Purses Biblical Community (Hebrews 10:24-25).

    The Lord created humanity to walk with Him in community with others.  A disciple-maker will be intentional to seek, pursue and create a local community of believers to spur each other toward love and good deeds.  Biblical community includes family as well as extended communities of followers of Christ.  Biblical community also draws those without Christ to the Lord (John 13:33-34.)


    • Mark #4: Lives among those who do not know Christ (1 Thessalonians 2:8).

    A disciple-maker will be among those who are without Christ.  They will be purposeful to love, serve and help non-believers know and understand the Gospel.  Disciple-makers are marked by strong commitment to the Great Commission and a strong compassion for the brokenness of those without Christ.  Disciple-makers proclaim and affirm the Gospel with both their words and their lives.

    • Mark #5: Advances the Gospel Through Spiritual Generations

    A disciple-maker is personally involved with helping others move closer to Christ as Savior and Lord.  Disciple-makers meet one-on-one to help non-believers understand who Christ claims to be, and to establish young believers in their faith.  A disciple-maker may lead small groups of others in studying and applying the Word.  Anything that helps others move closer to Christ is discipleship.  A disciple-maker helps another individual catch a vision for investing their life into the life of other people so that those individuals will in turn disciple others to do the same…multi-generational disciple-making.


    Adapted from Navigators Tools: