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Time is a commodity that cannot be reused making the use of it extremely valuable seen through the Scripture’s call to make the best use of time because of the presence of evil in the world today.[1] Therefore, the time we spend on people in discipleship is called to be used wisely and for the kingdom of God following the example of Christ when searching for qualities for people to disciple, the leading of the Spirit, and continually appraising our current ministries with an honest look of comparison to the Scriptures and Christ.

The Example of Christ

            Jesus is the greatest disciple maker, for He continues to do so today. His example is then that which we are called to follow in for we are not disciples of man but disciples of Christ. Paul demonstrates this call when he writes to the church of Corinth addressing divisions that had arisen from which apostle and church leader the people were following. Some were claiming to follow Paul, others Apollos, others Peter, and others Christ. Paul demonstrates that it was not Paul who was crucified for them, but Christ, therefore calling people to follow Jesus.[2] He echoes this in chapter 11 when he encourages the Corinthians to imitate him as he imitates Christ.[3] Therefore, since we are called to follow Christ chiefly His example for discipleship-making should be followed.

            Jesus demonstrates and selects His disciples first off by being led by the Spirit. Upon His first selection of disciples, Jesus had just finished fasting and praying in the wilderness being tempted by the devil. This leading of the Spirit was the basis of His ministry and as the Scripture reminds us the same Spirit lives within us.[4] This basis of prayer is essential in following God’s leading, for how can you expect to be on mission with God without spending time with Him? Jesus saw the potential of leadership in the kingdom within those whom He selected for discipleship, not just looking at the present condition, but the heart willing to learn.[5]  This willingness was a desire to serve God rather than appease the wills of man. Peter demonstrates this after a hard teaching Jesus had just delivered and many of the masses leave, “Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.”[6] “Jesus was not trying to impress the crowd, but usher in a kingdom.”[7] Christ’s strategy of discipleship was devotion to the few so the masses could be reached through their replication of the same.[8]

            My purpose in discipleship is to be like Christ, and I am reminded of the encouraging practicalities of those who have discipled me as they followed Christ. As I follow in the footsteps of the Teacher, I make a practice of being with those whom I am discipling pointing them to Jesus in our times together. For, “In His presence they could learn all that they needed to know.”[9] This selection of disciples is not determined by a whim, but by prayer, being led by the spirit, and assessing the qualities and potential qualities of the disciple.

Qualities of a Disciple

            Determining how to find those whom to disciple and spend time with begins with prayer and the leading of the Spirit. “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.”[10] This leading of the Spirit works within me and within the life of the disciple and is observable by the focus of their mind being on the things of God rather than the things of the flesh resulting in a Spirit-filled life with peace.[11] When looking for qualities for a disciple it is imperative to seek to view them as Christ does, with the potential of leadership for the kingdom of God.[12] Pride is a large deterrent for discipleship for it negates the need for learning and the opportunity for discipleship to take place. Consequently, a teachable heart and mind are great qualities to look for in a disciple.[13] This teachable spirit results in a pliable life ready for God to mold them and lead them in what He desires.[14] This desire to be transformed by the Spirit coincides with a sincere deep yearning for God.[15] Summed up together these qualities of a disciple are primarily an individual seeking God and seeking growth, and as a spiritual leader, God’s call upon the pastor is to also seek God and seek growth alongside them pointing them to Christ in practical ways.

An Honest Appraisal

            Often times when hiking through the forest you can get caught up looking directly at your feet and where you are stepping and forget to take moments of reprise looking at the beauty around you and a large-scale assessment of where you are. Take an honest appraisal of where you are at in your discipleship journey. This is essential. For it is in these moments of confession, recognition, and repentance that honesty finds its paramount purpose of change within the disciple. Therefore, I try to take a quarterly honest appraisal of the ministries I am part of to re-focus what I am doing for the Lord alongside those whom I serve with. This purpose is to honestly appraise what my motivations for ministry are, and if necessary to reallign them with the Lord. “Church leadership is to see to it that a foundation is laid in the beginning on which can be built am effective and continuing evangelistic ministry to the multitudes.”[16] The purpose is not to make more converts, but disciples who become discipleship makers.

           The words spoken by a disciple and follower of Jesus are beckoned to be accompanied by action. To share the Gospel, and the good news of salvation about Jesus is more than just speaking the good words of Jesus, but also living them. This honest appraisal of the heart calls the follower of Jesus to not just merely speak about Jesus to those whom they know in Christian fellowship, but to live out the heart of the Savior in life-giving action of living the words of Jesus, not just speaking the words of Jesus. “One living sermon is worth a hundred explanations.”[17]

       Discipleship begins with the few. Jesus starts with the twelve disciples. Who is God calling you to pour your time into to encourage people to draw closer to Jesus? Discipleship of the few must be done through salvation in Christ that He offers to the multitudes causing the believer to be led by the Spirit and not selfish desires.[18] As I look at Christ, I continually see His willingness to sacrifice, not only the atonement of the cross but also the practicalities of sacrifice of time within His ministry. The call for the disciple is to follow Jesus in practical sacrificial ways honestly appraising what we put our time, goals, effort, and priorities into. 

            Therefore, My prayer is that you will join me in continuing to seek the Lord in prayer and fasting in preparation for God for what God would have me do this next quarter. I find myself singing the words to this precious hymn time and time again, “Please make me like You, make me like You, Lord. Please make me like You. You are a servant. Make me one too. Oh, Lord, I am willing. Do what You must do. To make me like You, Lord. Please make me like You.”[19]


Coleman, Robert E. The Master Plan of Evangelism. Grand Rapids, MI: Revell, 1993.

Heritage Singers. “Make Me like You.” Make Me Like You. Gospel Heritage Foundation. Accessed July 14, 2022.



John 6:68 (ESV).

John 16:13 (ESV).

Romans 8:5-6 (ESV).

Romans 8:11 (ESV).

1 Corinthians 1:11-17 (ESV).

1 Corinthians 11:1 (ESV).

Ephesians 5:16 (ESV).


[1] Ephesians 5:16 (ESV).

[2] 1 Corinthians 1:11-17 (ESV).

[3] 1 Corinthians 11:1 (ESV).

[4] Romans 8:11 (ESV).

[5] Robert E. Coleman, The Master Plan of Evangelism (Grand Rapids, MI: Revell, 1993) 23.

[6] John 6:68 (ESV).

[7] Robert E. Coleman, The Master Plan of Evangelism (Grand Rapids, MI: Revell, 1993) 30.

[8] Ibid., 31.

[9] Ibid., 39.

[10] John 16:13 (ESV).

[11] Romans 8:5-6 (ESV).

[12] Robert E. Coleman, The Master Plan of Evangelism (Grand Rapids, MI: Revell, 1993) 23.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Ibid., 24.

[15] Ibid., 23-24.

[16] Ibid., 32.

[17] Ibid., 39.

[18] Ibid., 33.

[19] Heritage Singers, “Make Me like You,” Make Me Like You (Gospel Heritage Foundation), accessed July 14, 2022,