Luke Five - Following Jesus to deep waters

Making disciples of all nations.

Category: Disciple-making Page 2 of 6

E31 – Becoming a Praying Disciple Maker

Do we know a lot about prayer, or do we pray a lot? Is prayer an afterthought, or does prayer define our spiritual walk?

Prayer is a discipline I know I need to grow in.  What about you?


Referenced in the podcast:

British evangelist – Gypsy Smith (1860-1947).  Here are two places you can learn more about his ministry. and

E30 – 4 Essential Practices for Cross-Cultural Disciple Making

Did you realize that if you have been following Jesus for more than two years you are no longer the same culture as your unbelieving neighbor? In fact, while we often think of cross-cultural disciple making as involving people from different countries, there are actually all kinds of different cultures everywhere… even in your hometown.

What are some of the key practices necessary to be able to successfully make disciples cross-culturally? In this podcast, we have put together 4 essential practices necessary for successful cross cultural disciple making.

Books mentioned:
The Insanity of God by Nik Ripken

The Insanity of Obedience by Nik Ripken

E29 – Disciple Makers Love Their Enemies

One of Jesus’ most famous commands is to “love our enemies.”  Do we dare obey such an unusual command?  Do we dare disobey it?

Today in America it is election day.  So, in that vein, we’ll talk some about our political enemies, and how we can obey Jesus’ command to love our enemies.

In the podcast I mentioned several things by Carl Medearis.  Below are some links you can use to watch some of his talks.  I highly recommend the following.

You can also search his name on any podcast application and get to some great stories there as well.

E28 – 4 Tips for Frustrated Disciple Makers

Have you ever felt like you were the only one who cared about something, such as Disciple Making, in your church?  Here are 4 tips for those of you who find yourself frustrated.  Whether you are frustrated with your church, frustrated with the people you are discipling, or just frustrated with everything, these tips will help you evaluate what you need to do and help get you back on a productive track.

DW Short 02 – Jesus Perspective on Refugees

Is there a Biblical perspective on refugees?  What would Jesus say about them?  What should you and I do as followers of Jesus in regard to refugees?

On the podcast, I didn’t mention Matthew 25:31-46, but it is the next logical passage to consider after Matthew 2:13-18.  Other passages we should consider as we weigh our response and perspectives on refugees are:

Meditate on Luke 6:27 if you think refugees are our enemies.

Meditate of Luke 10:26-37 if you think they are not our enemies, but they are from different countries so that changes our duty as followers of Jesus.

What other passages do you think are important?  Let us know in the comments below.


E27 – 7 Questions To Ask the People You Disciple

Here are 7 questions I (James) like to ask when I am discipling someone.  On the show, I talk a little more about the components of a meeting with people you are discipling, as well as fleshing out the importance of each of these questions.

  1. How have you been lately? How are you?
  2. How is your family?
  3. Have you had any difficulties or something that stressed you out since we last met?
    1. Alternate question: In what ways has Satan been trying to attack you this week? (I don’t use this one often because I want the focus to be on Jesus, not the enemy.  However, sometimes its a great question to ask.)
  4. How has God been working in your life?
  5. How is your relationship with God?
  6. What is God teaching you through His Word?
  7. How is your prayer life?

Each of these questions are asked in the current context.  (… this week? or …. since we last met?)

Also, if you need these in another language let us know and we’ll see if we have someone who can translate them.

What are other questions you like to use?


E26 – Watering the Seeds of Healing

What do you do when you, or the person you are discipling needs healing?  We all know that only God can bring real healing, but what can we do to water the seeds of healing that God has planted there?

In this episode, we are talking about counseling.  Sometimes we give it, other times we need to receive it, and still other times a professional counselor can be very useful at helping bring emotional and spiritual healing.

To some people, getting counseling is like admitting they are weak or that there is something wrong with them. (Which is actually true for all of us.)  It’s like there is a stigma with going to a professional counselor.  The fact is, we all either have gone through or will go through difficult times, and so will the people we disciple.  We may or may not need a professional counselor, but let’s weigh our options carefully and see what resources God provides.  One of those resources might be professional Christian counselors.


E25 – Stop Praying Stupid Prayers and other disciple making resources

In this episode, we wanted to share some other disciple making resources. As John Kelsey mentioned a few weeks ago it really does take a village to make a disciple. I (James) wanted to share with you some of the other resources I use. Also, I wanted to talk about something I heard on “Revitalize and Replant” about praying stupid prayers and how we can pray powerful prayers instead.

There are lots of resources.  Here are some I like. – Sign up for the National Disciple Making Forum in Nashville, TN October 25-26th.  Also, tons of great resources, ebooks, a podcast, and more. – This podcast is all about strengthening and replanting stagnant and dying churches. Its got some really good wisdom from personal experience. Its useful to anyone in a stagnant or dying church, but specifically the pastor or other leadership. It is also useful if you are in a healthy church and would like to help a dying church near you.

E24 – Being Teachable and Finding People to Disciple in Your Church – Kevin Braddock

Today we’re speaking with Kevin Braddock about being teachable and about finding people to disciple in his church. Kevin has been discipled and has been discipling people for 20 years. He also has one mentor who has been discipling him for 10 years. Kevin shares some very practical things he does in order to remain teachable.  He also shares some of the ways he goes about finding people to disciple in his church and the ways he uses his time in church intentionally. Listen up, and you can do the same.

E23 – John Kelsey on Developing Generations of Intentional Disciplemakers (part 2)

Today we are continuing our talk with John Kelsey on the things necessary to develope multiple generations of intentional disciple makers.  You can see his entire post below. Today, we will be focusing on the last 3 points. And, by the way, you need to rely a lot more on the Holy Spirit than you do right now.


I really thought that I had a robust understanding of intentional disciplemaking. You can’t spend 26 years around Max and Sandra Barnett as a student and staff member without growing exponentially! I could not be more thankful for being a part of their legacy!

At the same time, I am just beginning to realize the vast depth of developing generations of intentional disciplemakers. Two environments over the last few years are shaping my thinking:

1. Developing generations of disciplemakers in the local church, particularly one focused on serving the poor and disenfranchised.

2. Developing generations of disciplemakers in a diverse professional demographic that includes the technical trades, military, law, engineers, and graduate students.

These two environments have led me to several conclusions:

1. Developing generations of disciplemakers to be fruitful over the long haul is much more difficult, and takes longer, than I understood it to be. There are no shortcuts to developing lifetime laborers for the Kingdom. You need to know what you’re doing and not give up. You also need to rely a lot more on the Holy Spirit than you do right now.

2. Developing generations of disciplemakers to be fruitful over the long haul requires a greater degree of varied community input than I understood it to be. Tribalism and the inability to connect disciples to a larger movement are enemies to developing lifetime laborers for the Kingdom. You need to help people contextualize the Great Commission in a much broader community. You also need to rely a lot more on the Holy Spirit than you do right now.

There’s a lot more that I’m chewing on, but I don’t have enough coffee to keep writing.


Well, I’ve made another pot of Ethiopian Jimma. Time to keep going!

3. Developing generations of disciplemakers to be fruitful over the long haul requires a regular re-examination of ministry tools. We are in ministry information overload in this country right now. For those of us in full-time ministry, there is a combination of boredom with doing the same thing over and over and pressure to create something new to offer the Kingdom. The vast majority of lifetime laborers do not make their living from the Gospel. They need simple, consistent ministry tools that they have had time to master in multiple contexts. Those of us leading disciplemaking ministries must offer ongoing ‘technical support’ for these ministry tools instead of focusing on the latest book or illustration. You also need to rely a lot more on the Holy Spirit than your favorite ministry tools.

4. Developing generations of disciplemakers to be fruitful over the long haul requires a much greater commitment on my part than I understood it to be. The temptation is to focus on creating communities with powerful disciplemaking momentum. However, as much as we need these communities to reinforce biblical principles, we cannot effectively develop lifetime laborers for the Kingdom apart from one-on-one training. Those of us leading disciplemaking ministries must model the process and outcomes we want to see in the individual. You also need to rely a lot more on the Holy Spirit than your ability to do one-on-one.

No kidding, I drank all of my coffee. I’ll write more later.


My next shipment from MistoBox has arrived. Thanks Jen for the Christmas present! This El Salvador Talmanica is fantastic!

5. Developing generations of disciplemakers to be fruitful over the long haul requires a much stronger commitment to prayer than I ever imagined. I always believed in prayer, and have practiced prayer throughout my ministry. However, the older I get, the more convinced I am of verses I memorized while in college: “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman keeps awake in vain.” Psalm 127:1; “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5. The pitfall of younger disciplemakers is to think that they are more in control of the growth process than the Holy Spirit.

6. Developing generations of disciplemakers to be fruitful over the long haul requires more encouragement and support than I understood it to be. The vision of intentional disciplemaking gripped my heart in college. Since then, I have never doubted this biblical mandate, and am committed to develop lifetime laborers regardless of the opinions of those around me. However, I have come to realize that I am exponentially more effective when I receive encouragement, support, and ongoing training to fulfill my calling. I taught on the importance of teams, but personally thought I had enough horsepower to get the job done with or without any help. I fundamentally misunderstood the biblical power of visionary community, and what others could offer to help me be more effective in the Kingdom. You see this clearly in Acts 2:42-46. I need to rely upon the Holy Spirit and His plan for developing lifelong laborers more than just my passion for making disciples.

I’m noticing my points are getting longer and longer. The caffeine must really be kicking in!

Today, we will be focusing on the last 3 points.


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