the fives: disciple making principles

Image credit: georgejmclittle / 123RF Stock Photo
Image credit: georgejmclittle / 123RF Stock Photo

This is the 2nd in a series on The Fives – the five principles, skills and tools that can help you advance disciple making movements.

Many of the conversations I have with fellow disciple makers deal with disciple making practices and strategies.

However, the most substantive conversations I have are about disciple making principles.

This is because questions about practices and strategies are best answered by principles.

Here are the five core disciple making principles that my strategy and practice is built on:

1. God calls us to a lifestyle of obedience and witness (Deuteronomy 6:4-9).

2. The aim of discipleship is obedience to Jesus (Matthew 28:16-20).

3. The Father draws, Jesus saves, the Holy Spirit teaches (John 6:41-45, 16:7-15).

4. Discipleship begins with existing groups of lost people (Luke 10:1-12).

5. We are sent as Jesus was sent (John 20:19-23).

Your turn:

  1. Which of these principles would you refer to if asked whether people of peace are qualified to “teach” or “lead” a Discovery Bible Study?
  2. How does your disciple making practice and strategy relate to these disciple making principles?
  3. What disciple making principles would you add – or subtract – from my list of five?

Share your thoughts and make it a conversation!

9 thoughts on “the fives: disciple making principles

  1. I would add another perspective to this discussion, namely, that God desires all peoples, tribes, languages and nations to become followers (& worshipers!) of Jesus. I’ve seem some who, lacking this framework, consider discipleship to apply just locally or to their own people – and thus do not have in sight the need to cross cultural, geographical, linguistic and socio-economic barriers in order to “disciple all nations” (Matt. 28:19). Those who think of discipleship in an ethnocentric way, do not show a passion for Jesus to be glorified by the gentiles. So thus I’d suggest another “plank’ be added to the five points above – or that the language be reworked – to make explicit the end God’s desire to be known, loved, worshiped and obey by all peoples everywhere.


      1. I would think that being sent to the nations is a subset or explanation of the 5th principle and that another point isn’t needed, though clarification of the point indeed is.


    1. I like your observation, Chuck, that being sent to the nations is part of what it means to be sent as Jesus was sent.

      To all: what else should be highlighted in terms of what it means to be sent as Jesus was sent?

      Thanks in advance for helping others (self included) by sharing your thoughts!


      1. “How is Jesus sent?” Is worth asking and what follows summarizes Eric Foley’s book “The Whole Life Offering”. Jesus came in such ways and so we are to be …

        – Doing Good (Ac. 10:38 | Gal. 6:10)
        – Sharing our Bread (Mk. 2:15-17; 6:30-44 | Mt. 25:35;
        Rom. 12:20)
        – Opening Our Home (Dt. 26:5-10 | Mt. 25:35; 1 Tim. 3:2;
        Heb. 13:2)
        – Visiting and Remembering (Ex. 3:7-10 | Mt. 25:36; Eph.
        1:15-19; Jas. 1:27)
        – Healing and Comforting (Lk 5:12-13 | Mt. 25:36; Jas.
        – Proclaiming the Gospel (Lk 4:16-21 | Lk. 10:9; Ac. 20:21)
        – Forgiving and Reconciling (Rom. 3:25-26 | Mt. 5:7,9;
        Eph. 4:32)
        – Making Disciples (Mt. 10:1ff | Mt. 28:18-20)
        – Ransoming Captives (Jer. 30:8-24 | Prov. 24:11; Is. 58:6)
        – Reigning (Phil. 2:5-11 | Gen. 1:28; Mt. 5: 13-16; 20:25-28;
        Rev. 1:4-6; 3:19-22)


What do you think? Add a comment and join the conversation!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s