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The focus on making disciples is formation not just information. By way of comparison, in the classroom context, knowledge or information is the focus, while in the discipling context, formation, i.e. principles, values, vision, and goals, along with knowledge becomes the focus. On the one hand, the teaching approach tells us that Jesus is Lord. On the other hand the discipleship approach helps us to experience the Lordship of Jesus in our daily lives.
With this discipleship model, life is shared with others. It is a 24-7 llifestyle. There is growth together. Vision and ministry is both shared and taught. Dependency on the Lord Jesus increases and fruit is born. Thus discipleship can involve nurture, evangelism, church planting, prayer, worship, and justice and peace issues all at the same time.
The discipler will readily discern that these outlines contain little that is original. My parents Jerry and Nancy Reed, compiled the initial outlines in Ecuador, South America. They used the Navigator’s Wheel Illustration to determine the major themes of the material. Later, following the adaptation of some friends, the hub was added to represent the Holy Spirit. Many disciples, disciplers and colleagues in ministry helped in the development of this tool. After returning to the United States my dad taught evangelism, discipleship, and church growth at North Park Theological Seminary. For several years my mom was the Coordinator for Hispanic Church Relations for the Covenant Church and worked directly with national church leaders in Latin America, Spain, and the Hispanic church in the U.S.A.
My mom more than retired is really “refired”. Most recently she has been on the Leadership team of a growing church and done work on both sides of the border in discipleship and helping the church grow. My dad passed away in the Spring of 2011. God used that season of grief to remind me of my primary identity and vocation. I am a loved one, I am a holy one, and a saint. I am secure, accepted and significant in Christ. I am called. DISCIPLE! This is both a noun and verb. I am a disciple of Jesus called to make disciples. This is my identity and call.
Marv Ladner, the man who spent time discipling my dad during his college years told him: “Jerry, don´t forget that when everything is said and done – when you are at the end of your ministry and life, it will be the time invested in the lives of people that really counts. When the dust settles and there is no more activity, it will be transformed lives, people that live for the Lord, that will make all the difference.
As a part of the legacy I have received through my parents I pass on this tool to help the body of Christ DISCIPLE as identity and call. DISCIPLE! Who I am and what I do!