Go, then, to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples … and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. Matthew 28:19-20
And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others. 2 Timothy 2:2
Jesus told his disciples to make disciples. He didn’t tell them to make believers, or converts, or even Christians, but to make disciples like themselves. Disciples are much more committed than believers, or converts, or those who “pray the prayer,” or those who fold over the little corner of the registration card indicating they have accepted Christ as their personal savior. A disciple doesn’t just have a foot in the door; a disciple is all in. Look at the twelve — they left everything behind to follow Christ. They left their families, their jobs, their future plans and went with Jesus for three years. And during that time Jesus taught them. He taught them separately; He taught them in groups; He taught the crowds with them next to Him and then explained to them later, privately, about the more difficult things He said. He taught them while they walked along the countryside. He taught them in boats, in houses, on the shore, on the mountain, in the city, in the temple. I doubt there was ever a time when He was not teaching them. He didn’t teach them in a seminar, or a weekend retreat, or an 8-week course, or a semester class, He taught them in life, and class was always in session.
Now we can’t really duplicate this in our current culture and lifestyle, unless you are Charles Manson or Jim Jones the second, but we can use this as an ideal to shoot for and a style to emulate. Like Jesus, we can teach from our lives through ongoing personal relationships — through walking and talking together and sharing everything possible about our dreams, goals, struggles, obstacles, failures and successes. And considering content, that’s easy. You just teach everything that Jesus has taught you so far. No, you don’t teach what you don’t know, or what some church leader tells you should be in every discipleship program. No. You teach one thing. You teach what Jesus has taught you. That’s it. You teach what you know, which will include what you are currently learning. Sometimes that’s the best because it’s fresh. And be open to the fact that those you are teaching will teach you as well.
So you don’t need to be a “professional” to do this. Everybody can do this because everybody knows something that Jesus has taught them. “Teach them to obey everything I have commanded you.” That may be a lot or it may be a little, but you know what it is, and you are in charge of passing it on.