If you could design a Bible for disciples and disciplers, what would you put into it? How important is discipling—in your life? In Jesus’ life? Are you carrying out the Great Commission? Or have you compromised, even though you have years or decades of Christian experience? Is your church a discipling community, or has it settled for something less?
“Sometimes when I’m asked to preach in a church, I ask how many people are disciples. Then I ask how many have disciplers—someone who is discipling them. And then I ask how many are Christians. The disparity in the answers prompts worthwhile reflection,” says David Kornfield, who serves on OC’s International Ministry Team and is the founder and national leader of Support Ministries for Pastors and Churches (SMPL – known as MAPI in Latin America).
“Most Christians want to be like Jesus, yet few commit to his principal life work—disciple-making. In our zeal for church growth and numeric increase, we’ve abandoned the core of what Jesus did and what he told us to do. The word “church” appears twice in the Gospels (Matthew 16:18; 18:17).
The word “disciple(s)” appears 240 times! Why? When disciples are made, the church can’t help but grow. We treat the Great Commission as the ‘Great Suggestion’ and turn it into the ‘Great Omission’—and God weeps. I believe he weeps over the church today as Jesus wept over Jerusalem in his time.
“The Brazilian Bible Society asked Josadak Lima and myself to write a Discipleship Bible. Our goal is to complete this huge task by 2015, for publication in 2016. If well accepted in Portuguese, it may be translated into Spanish and become available throughout Latin America. Distinctives include:
- “Seven courses for small groups. Each course has eight subjects and each subject has eight simple studies with a short discussion of the topic. Thus each course has a total of 64 studies, for a total of 448 studies (7 courses x 64 studies). The seven courses are:
D. Team ministry
E. Soul restoration
F. Godly character
G. Biblical personalities that illustrate discipling
- Practical annotations of how to apply and live out Scriptures in each chapter of the Bible.
- Short introductions to each book that highlight its unique contribution to disciple-making, along with a brief meditation on a key verse in that book that clarifies the life message of the book.
- An Introduction to the Discipleship Bible that explains Christ’s vision for discipleship and how to use the Discipleship Bible in living out that vision—be it for personal growth, to disciple one other person or in a small group discipleship context.
“Peter Wagner once said, ‘Each of us is free to choose or not to choose to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. But once we’ve chosen, we no longer have a choice as to whether to be a discipler.’ The Discipleship Bible, by God’s grace, will help transform Christians into disciples and disciples into disciplemakers!
“I’ve published more than 20 books or booklets in Brazil, all of them having to do with small groups: discipleship groups, home cell groups, support groups, marriage mentoring groups, and ministry teams. I am incorporating the heart of each book into the Discipleship Bible. Though God has called me to focus beyond Brazil in this phase of my life, he’s given me the privilege of leaving a lasting legacy in Brazil and through Brazil to other countries. What a God we serve!”
For more information on Pastoring of Pastors, see http://www.pastoringofpastors.org