This is part of the series How to Shape Your Ministry Around Disciple Making.
Kevin Halloran: Can you explain Phase Two of The Vine Project?
Sean Martin: Phase Two is about reforming your personal culture. This isn’t just a one-time thing when we become converted to Christ and we agreed with Him that we want to live under His authority, making disciples as He commanded us. Reforming your personal culture is an ongoing thing.
To give an example: some of the questions I’m always asking are:
Who am I training? Am I making any disciples? Do I even pray for people who aren’t Christians yet? When’s the last time I prayed for someone who wasn’t a believer that God would open a door to share the gospel with them? When’s the last time I prayerfully sought to make a disciple of someone by sharing the gospel with them?
Continue sharpening your convictions. Ask yourself, “Do I believe the Word of God and prayer is the basis of all ministry? Am I seeking in my week to spend as much time as possible to make disciples through the Word of God and prayer?”
If you’re a leader and you’re encouraging your congregation to be disciple makers and you’re not doing it yourself, you’re in a dangerous place.
KH: They’re never going to follow.
SM: Exactly. We need to be leading by example. If people see that the leader is a disciple maker, then they are going to be disciple-makers as well.
I’ll share another example of this: We recently had a potential missionary come to the mission board of our church and say, “I’d like to go to such and such a country and become a missionary. Would you guys support me?” One of the questions I like to ask people who are thinking about being missionaries or gospel workers is: “Are you a missionary here and now?”
Sometimes you’ll be met with a quizzical look when you ask that question. But it’s an important question. Because if your conviction now isn’t, “I want to be making disciples wherever God’s placed me,” it’s not like going through missionary training, receiving funding, and being dropped off in a country suddenly makes you a disciple-making missionary. That has to come out of your conviction about making disciples wherever you are.
KH: We can misunderstand the Great Commission that says, “Go and make disciples,” and think, “I have to go somewhere really far to make disciples.” No, it’s as you’re going in life, wherever the Lord has placed you.
SM: As you go, starting in Jerusalem, then Judea, and Samaria, and then the ends of the earth. Some of us will go to the ends of the earth, but some of us will stay here. We need both. We need people to stay here and make disciples in the workplace. For example, in a full-time ministry, I am not working in the secular workplace. So, I’m not able to make disciples of people working for XYZ Corporation. But if I’m training people to be disciple-makers, they will reach people in places that I can’t reach. And they’ll become disciple makers in that context. You’re a missionary wherever God has placed you.
The next step evaluates our ministries.