David Platt

B. Childress
Oct 13 2013

ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL THINGS I have ever read is a little booklet called “Born to Reproduce” by Dawson
Trotman.  As a college student, I walked into a Christian bookstore, and a man I hardly knew stopped me, handed me
what looked like a leaflet, and said, “You need to read this.”  I did, and it changed my life.

In a matter of only a few pages, Trotman builds the case that “every person who is born into God’s family is to multiply.”  
Yet he maintains that most Christians are not multiplying.  He laments, “In every Christian audience, I am sure there are
men and women who have been Christians for five, ten or twenty years but who do not know of one person who is living
for Jesus Christ today because of them.” (Dawson Trotman, “Born to Reproduce,” 5, 12.  Retrieved from Discipleship
Library, http://www.discipleshiplibrary.com/pdfs/AA094.pdf.)  This is a problem, Trotman says, and it’s the reason the
gospel has not yet spread to the nations today.

In contrast, “the Gospel spread to the known world during the first century without radio, television, or the printing press,
because [the early church] produced [Christians] who were
reproducing.”  Trotman uses the illustration of how parents
naturally reproduce children in the context of marriage to assert that “every one of [God’s] children ought to be a
reproducer.” (Ibid. 14, 10.)

That illustration became all the more clear to me in the years to come.  I’ve written with great delight about my family’s
adoption journey, but that journey was born in dark and difficult days.  For years my wife and I tried to have children
biologically.  Finally convinced that this would never happen, we began the process of adopting Caleb.  Then, about two
weeks after we returned from Kazakhstan, I came home from a meeting late one night and found Heather still awake.  
That was unusual.

    “Is everything okay?” I asked her.

    “You need to sit down,” she replied.

    Worried, I sat on the couch next to her and waited.

She looked at me and slowly said two shocking words: “I’m pregnant.”

I was stunned.  After years and years of trying, we didn’t think this could happen, and we certainly hadn’t planned on it.  
Apparently, what happens in Kazakhstan
doesn’t stay in Kazakhstan.  (Did I just write that?)

Nine months later, Heather woke me up in the middle of the night.  She said, “It’s probably a false alarm, but I think we
should go to the hospital.”

On that cold December night, we arrived at the hospital, and they told us they didn’t have enough room for us.
 Kind of
appropriate for the season
, I thought – getting ready to have a baby at Christmastime and being told there’s no room.  
All right…maybe we’ll just go outside and look for a stable with a manger.

So the hospital staff put us in a closet and hooked Heather up to all kinds of machines.  A couple of hours later they
were able to move us into a regular room.  As we settled into the hospital, my excitement was tempered with tension.  
Simply put, I’m not a big fan of hospitals.  The sight of blood doesn’t sit well with me.  Heather knows this, so I wasn’t
surprised a little later when I overheard her talking with our nurse.

The nurse first said to Heather, “The doctor who is going to be delivering your baby lets husbands help deliver, if they’d

Heather laughed.  “My husband would never do that.”

Wounded in my pride, I realized this was my chance to show my wife what I was made of.  Before I knew what I was
saying, I blurted out, “I’d love to help deliver the baby.”

Heather looked back at me with a sudden smile on her face.

“You would?”

“Yes…of course,” I stammered.  “Who wouldn’t want to deliver a baby?”

The nurse immediately went into action, making preparations for the delivery as Heather sat back in her bed, still
smiling.  Meanwhile, I was sweating.  
What was I thinking?  I can’t stand the sight of blood – I already feel sick just
standing in this room – and I just volunteered to deliver a baby?

I needed a plan, so I decided I was going to look at this as if it were a mission trip.  When you go overseas, you do things
you don’t normally do.  You eat things you don’t normally eat and drink things you don’t normally drink.  
When you’re in
Rome, you do what the Romans do
, I thought to myself.  So when you’re in the hospital, you do what doctors do.

Besides, I have a doctorate, I reasoned.  Granted, it’s from a seminary, but what difference does that really make?  In
the end, aren’t all doctors pretty much the same?

I paced until the real doctor came in.  It was time.  As I put on a gown and some gloves, the doctor pulled me aside and
told me how this was going to work.  He used a bunch of medical jargon that I didn’t understand and then asked me, “Do
you understand?”

Without hesitation, I responded, “Yes, sir.”

The reality?  I was scared out of my mind and sick to my stomach.  

I’ll spare you the details, but after a few minutes, he gave me the cue.  He told me to reach down and put my left hand
under my right hand.  I felt like Peyton Manning.  Flanked by two nurses, I stood waiting for the ball to be snapped.

All of a sudden, a tiny head popped out – and time stood still.  I pulled out Joshua, a child we had prayed for over many
years, and I placed him in my precious wife’s lap while Caleb, our first son, waited in the room outside.  Clearly, we
couldn’t have written this script.  Only God, in his creative mercy and sovereign wisdom, could have designed this story –
a story whose plot has since thickened.  Years after Joshua was born, Heather and I adopted our daughter, Mara Ruth,
from China.  Three months later, you’ll never guess what happened.  To our surprise, Heather was pregnant again.  

Looking back on years of infertility, Heather and I remember the hurts and heartaches of longing to have children yet
finding those longings go unfulfilled with every passing month.  We constantly felt the frustration that comes with realizing
there was something physically wrong that prevented this blessing.

The Lord used this lesson to teach me, though, and today I am convinced that a similar thing can be said of the
Christian life.  By God’s design, he has wired his children for spiritual reproduction.  He has woven into the fabric of
every single Christian’s DNA a desire and ability to reproduce.  More than any married couple longs to see a baby
naturally born, every Christian longs to see sinners supernaturally saved.  All who know the love of Christ yearn to
multiply the life of Christ.  God has formed, fashioned, and even filled Christians with his own Spirit for this very purpose.

I think, then, it’s reasonable to conclude that something is spiritually wrong at the core of a Christian if his or her
relationship with Christ is not resulting in reproduction.  Maybe more plainly put, wherever you find a Christian who is not
leading men and women to Christ, something is not right.

To be a disciple of Jesus is to make disciples of Jesus.  As I hope we’ve seen, this has been true ever since the first
century when Jesus invited four men to follow him.  His words have echoed throughout this book: “Follow me, and I will
make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19).  More important than searching for fish all over the sea, these men would
spread the gospel all over the world.  They would give their lives not simply to being disciples of Jesus, but sacrificially to
making disciples of Jesus.  And God’s design for twenty-first-century disciples is exactly the same.  Jesus calls every one
of his disciples to make disciples who make disciples until the gospel penetrates every group of people in the world.  

But something is wrong.  Very wrong.  Somewhere along the way, we have lost sight of what it means to be a disciple,
and we have laid aside Jesus’ command to make disciples.  We have tragically minimized what it means to be his
follower, and we have virtually ignored the biblical expectation that we fish for men.  The result is a rampant spectator
mentality that skews discipleship across the church, stifles the spread of the gospel around the world, and ultimately
sears the heart of what it means for each of us to be a Christian.


This book represents an admittedly feeble attempt to address a malady in contemporary Christianity.  While multitudes
of men and women often loosely and many times falsely claim to be Christians, I have sought to explore what it actually
means to follow Jesus.  Becoming a Christian involves responding to the gracious invitation of God in Christ, and being a
Christian involves leaving behind superficial religion for supernatural regeneration.  As we follow Christ, he transforms
our minds, our desires, our wills, our relationships, and our ultimate reason for living.  Every disciple of Jesus exists to
make disciples of Jesus, here and among every people group on the planet.  There are no spectators.  We are all born
to reproduce.

So are you reproducing?  To quote Dawson Trotman, “Men, where is your man?  Women, where is your woman?  Where
is the one whom you led to Christ and who is now going on with Him?...How many persons do you know by name today
who were won to Christ by you and are now living for Him?” (Trotman, “Born to Reproduce,” 13, 10).  

My purpose in asking these questions is not to make you feel guilty if you cannot answer them (or proud if you can).  My
purpose in asking these questions is to spur you on to consider how the life of Christ
in you might be multiplied through
you in the world.

Maybe a more important first question, though, is this: Do you desire to reproduce?  Deep down inside, do you long to
see people come to know Christ through your life?  If the answer to that question is not an unhesitating, unapologetic
yes, then I encourage you to search your heart.  Is Christ in you?  Do you believe his Word – his Word that claims that
Christ alone is able to save sinners, that God alone is worthy of worship, and that all who do not receive God’s grace in
Christ will spend eternity in hell?  Are you experiencing his affections – delight in knowing him and desire to proclaim him
to the people around you?  Ultimately, are you abandoned to his will for you to be his witness in the world?

If these things are not a reality in your life, then no matter what decision you made however many years ago and no
matter what church you attended last week, you may not actually be a Christian, for these features are the fruit of
followers of Christ.  If you don’t desire to reproduce and if you don’t long to see people come to know Christ through
your life, then I encourage you, in the words of II Corinthians 13:5, to “examine [yourself] to see whether you are in the
faith.”  Is Christ in you?  And if he is not – if your heart, mind, and will have not been transformed by the forgiveness of
your sins and the filling of his Spirit – then I urge you to die to sin and yourself today and come to life in Christ.

On the other hand, if you do desire to reproduce as a disciple of Jesus, and if you do long to see people come to know
Christ through your life, then I invite you to take some intentional steps toward that end.  Every year, I fill out what I call a
“personal disciple-making plan.”  Basically, it’s my effort in God’s grace to set out how I want to wholeheartedly follow
Christ and fish for men in the coming year.  Each of the pastors in our church writes out a similar plan, and every new
member of our church goes through the same process.  My prayer is that every follower of Christ in the church I have
the privilege of pastoring would have an intentional plan for following Jesus and fishing for men.

Consequently, as this book comes to a close, I want to invite you to walk through a similar process of writing out a
specific plan for how you are going to follow Jesus and fish for men.  If the end result of reading this book is only a
slightly clearer understanding of what it means to be a disciple, then these pages will have been for the most part
wasted.  But if the end result of reading this book is a significantly greater understanding of what it means for you to be a
disciple that inevitably leads you to make disciples here and around the world, then these pages will have proven, I pray,
eternally valuable.

So for every follower of Christ, I invite you to consider the following six straightforward questions.  Pages have been
provided for you to write out your plan here in the book, but feel free to record your commitment in whatever way works
best for you.  I have tried to keep the primary questions simple, yet I have also provided additional questions that might
help you flesh out what it means to follow Jesus in each of these ways.  I don’t presume that these questions are
exhaustive, but I do believe they are essential.  And my hope and prayer is that they will serve you as you consider what
it means to follow Christ.


To follow Jesus is to believe Jesus, and in order to believe Jesus, we must listen to Jesus.  The life of the disciple is the
life of a learner.  We constantly attune our ears to the words of our Master.  As he teaches us through his Word, he
transforms us in the world.

As disciples of Jesus, then, you and I must be intentional about filling our minds with his truth.  In the words of Paul,
“Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if
anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” (Philippians 4:8).  In the process of setting our minds on
godly things, we guard our minds from worldly thinking.  And the more we hear and know Christ through his Word, the
more we will enjoy and honor Christ in the world.

So take time to consider how you will intentionally fill your mind with his truth.  Specifically, ask the following questions:

  • How will I read God’s Word?  You might start with a plan to read a chapter a day, and maybe that plan will
    increase to two, three, four, or more chapters a day.  You might consider using an intentional Bible reading plan
    that covers all of Scripture over a certain period of time.  If the Bible is the revelation of God’s Word to God’s
    children, shouldn’t every Christian actually read the whole thing?

  • How will I memorize God’s Word?  As you read, look for verses, paragraphs, or even chapters that seem
    particularly significant and applicable to your life.  Then commit them to memory.  Again, maybe you can start by
    memorizing a verse a week, and then you can take on more as your hunger for hiding God’s Word in your heart

  • How will I learn God’s Word from others?  Reading, studying, and understanding the Bible is not just an
    individual effort; it’s a community project.  As we saw in chapter 7, we all need pastors (including myself as I serve
    as a pastor!) who are teaching God’s Word faithfully to us.  And we all need brothers and sisters who are
    consistently encouraging us with God’s Word.  So as a member of a church and in your life as a Christian, what is
    your plan for consistently learning God’s Word from and with others?

As you consider a plan for reading, memorizing, and learning God’s Word, don’t forget that disciples do these things not
for information, but for transformation.  As
believers in Jesus, we are followers of Jesus, which means that we not only
hear the truth of Christ; we apply the truth of Christ.  Our goal as disciples is never just to believe God’s Word; our goal
is to obey God’s Word.  So as you plan to fill your mind with truth, purpose to follow the one who is Truth.


Even as I encourage you to ask and answer these questions, I am mindful of the dangerous tendency for discipline in
the disciple’s life to become mechanical and monotonous.  Our aim is not simply to know God; our aim is to love God,
and the more we read his Word, the more we delight in his glory.

Our aim in other spiritual disciplines is similar.  As we worship, pray, fast, and give, we fuel affection for God.  So I want
to encourage you to intentionally plan according to questions like these:

  • How will I worship?  Biblical passages like Romans 12:1 and I Corinthians 10:31 remind us that all of life is
    worship.  To the church at Rome, Paul wrote, “I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as
    living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.” (Romans 12:1).  To the church at
    Corinth, Paul said, “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (I Corinthians 10:
    31).  So consider general ways that you might focus on worship in every facet of your life.  Then, in light of
    Scripture’s clear exhortation to meet regularly with the church for worship (See Hebrews 10:24-25), plan to gather
    with brothers and sisters weekly to express collective want for God through worship.

  • How will I pray?  Jesus said, “When you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who
    is in secret.” (Matthew 6:6, ESV).  In other words, find yourself a place and set aside a time to be with the Father.  
    You may wonder, Doesn’t Scripture teach us to pray all the time?  God’s Word most definitely does say this in I
    Thessalonians 5:17, but I know in my own life that concentrated prayer at a specific time is the best fuel for
    continual prayer all the time.  So what will be your time and where will be your place for communion with your
    Father?  Simply setting aside this time and place will substantially change your life as a disciple of Jesus.

  • How will I fast?  The very idea of fasting may be altogether new to you, but Jesus’ words to his disciples seem to
    imply that they will regularly set aside food in order to feast on God alone (See, for example, Matthew 6:16-18).  
    So if you’ve never fasted before, I encourage you to start by setting aside one meal.  Once a week or once every
    few weeks, instead of eating breakfast, lunch, or dinner, spend that hour praying and reading God’s Word.  Once
    you’ve grown accustomed to this practice and discovered the value of this time (and an hour alone with God will
    quickly prove quite fulfilling), plan to fast for two meals in one day, and then for an entire twenty-four-hour period.  
    As you grow in fasting, you may consider fasting for consecutive days on a periodic basis.  Regardless, plan to
    fast from food so that you might learn to feast on God.

  • How will I give?  When you think about fueling affection for God, giving may not be the first thing that comes to
    your mind.  But Jesus’ teaching on giving in Scripture is directly associated with his teaching on fasting and
    prayer.  Immediately after he teaches his disciples about giving, praying, and then fasting, he says, “Do not store
    up for yourselves treasures on earth…but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven…For where your treasure
    is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:10-21).  Notice the tie between our money and our affections.  
    According to Jesus, our money doesn’t just reflect our hearts; our hearts follow our money.  One of the most
    effective ways to fuel affection for God is to give your resources in obedience to God.  So as a disciple of Jesus,
    how will you intentionally, generously, sacrificially, and cheerfully give to the church and to those in need around
    you and around the world?  Such giving fuels selfless love for God that overcomes selfish desires for the things of
    this world.

Following Jesus involves not only intellectual trust in him, but also emotional desire for him.  We have seen that it is
impossible to separate true faith in Christ from profound feelings for Christ.  So as disciples of Jesus, we intentionally
worship, pray, fast, and give in order to fuel affection for God.


God’s will in the world and for our lives is to spread his gospel, grace, and glory to all peoples.  Instead of asking what
God’s will is for our lives, every disciple of Jesus asks, “How can my life align with his will for me to be his witness in the
world?  This general question leads us to more specific questions.

  • Who?  You may remember Matthew from chapter 6, a member of the church I pastor who used to live in a Muslim
    country.  If you recall, when men and women come to faith in Christ in that country, they immediately create a list
    of people they know and then commit to share the gospel with whoever is least likely to kill them.  Now it’s probable
    that if you’re reading this book, you don’t live in a country like that.  Nevertheless, I want to give you the same
    challenge.  You may not know a lot of people who will kill you because you’re a Christian, but you are surrounded
    by people who are not Christians.  So take a minute to write down the names of three, five, or maybe ten
    unbelievers God has placed in your life.  Then begin praying specifically for God, through the power of his Spirit,
    to draw them to his salvation.

  • How?  You and I have opportunities to share the gospel every single day.  In chapter 8, I described how Mark,
    Kim, and Robert are constantly sewing gospel threads into the fabric of their everyday conversations.  So how can
    you do the same?  In the context of where you live, work, and play, and with the people God has put around you
    (including the names of those you listed above), how can you begin to speak intentionally about God’s character,
    man’s sin, Christ’s provision and our need to respond to that provision?  Would you commit to praying every
    single morning for grace to sew gospel threads all day long?  Could you then look intentionally throughout the day
    for opportunities to share gospel truths, being ever attentive to situations that God might open for you to share
    the entire gospel and invite someone to trust in Christ?

  • When?  Instead of passively sitting back and waiting for people to ask you about Jesus, it’s wise to consider how
    you can actively show Christ’s love by creating opportunities to tell people about Jesus.  Think particularly here
    about the people you identified above.  How can you specifically and deliberately create opportunities to share the
    gospel with them?  Could you invite them to lunch?  Could you have them over for dinner?  Is there some other
    activity or avenue you could take advantage of, whether that’s something as involved as spending a day or
    weekend with them or something as simple was writing a letter to them?

As you identify the
who, think through the how, and plan the when, don’t forget the why.  All of this can seem fabricated
and fake until you remember what’s at stake.  Every person that God has graciously put around you is a sinner eternally
in need of a Savior.  You were once that person, yet someone intentionally sought you out to share the gospel with you.  
Now this is the purpose for which God has graciously saved you.  So with the Word of God in your mouth and the Spirit
of God in your heart, end your quest to find God’s will by deciding today to follow it.


The Bible flies in the face of American individualism and church consumerism, prompting every follower of Christ to ask
the question,
Am I an active accountable member of a local church?  This question is not, Is my name on a church roll
 or Do I attend church somewhere?  The question is,  Am I committed to a local church where I am sharing
life with other followers of Christ in mutual accountability under biblical leadership for the glory of God?
 If not, the first
question we need to ask is:

  • Where?  Throughout the year, the church I pastor hosts a four-week class for potential church members.  During
    that time, I always say to every person in the class, “Is this the local body of Christ where you can most effectively
    make disciples of Christ?  If the answer to that question is yes, then I encourage them to lock arms with our local
    church, not as spectators on the sidelines, but as participants in the mission.  If the answer to that question is no,
    then I encourage them to lock arms with another local church, where they can more effectively carry out the
    commission of Christ.  So where is the place that you can most effectively make disciples of all nations?  Where
    are the pastors you can follow confidently because they teach and model God’s Word clearly?  Where are the
    people you are going to serve and submit to as a disciple of Jesus?  Answering these questions and committing
    your life to a church then leads to another question.

  • What?  As you look across the church of which you are a member, consider what things you can do to build up
    (and be built up by) that body of Christ.  Are there certain people you can serve in specific ways?  Are there
    certain positions you can fill for specific purposes?  What will you do to lay down your life for the people of that
    church?  And what will you do to make sure that you have people who are watching out for your life in Christ,
    willing to pull you back whenever you start to wander from him?

To follow Christ is to love his church.  It is biblically, spiritually, and practically impossible to be a disciple of Christ (much
less make disciples of Christ) apart from total devotion to a family of Christians.  So how will your life be spent showing
God’s love as a member of a church?


The eternal purpose of God is to save people through Christ.  The clear commission of Christ for every single disciple is
to make disciples not just generally, but of all nations – every
ethne in the world.  So regardless of where you live, how is
your life going to impact every nation, tribe, tongue, and people in the world?  This is not a question for extraordinary
missionaries; this is a question for ordinary disciples.  Consider the following ways you can play a part in the spread of
God’s glory to the ends of the earth.

  • How will I pray for the nations?  You and I have an opportunity to be a part of what God is doing around the
    world from our knees in our homes.  So let’s pray passionately for God’s Kingdom to come and will to be done
    across the earth.  You might use a tool like Operation World (available for free online unless you want a digital or
    hard copy) to pray for every nation in the world.  Plan to deliberately focus your praying generally on the nations
    and specifically on the unreached people groups of the world.

  • How will I give to the nations?  In chapter 8, I mentioned how five cents of every one hundred dollars in a North
    American Christian’s life goes through the church to the rest of the world.  Plan to change that.  How will you
    sacrifice the wants in your budget to give to the needs of the world – most particularly the need for every people
    group to hear the gospel?  As a member of a church, how will you lead your church to cut programs and priorities
    that you once thought were important yet pale in comparison to the physical needs of starving brothers and
    sisters and the spiritual needs of unreached men and women all over the world?  Plan to sacrifice and spend for
    the sake of the nations.

  • How will I go to the nations?  Strategically, creatively, and wisely consider ways you can share the gospel with
    other people groups, particularly those that are unreached (meaning they have no access to the gospel).  Some
    of these people groups have come to America and may be in your community, so consider ways you might reach
    out to them. Whether they’re Somali Muslims, Egyptian Arabs, Tibetan Buddhist, or any other people group right
    around you.  Then consider ways you might cross the ocean to go to them, whether that’s on a short-term trip for
    a week or two, a mid-term endeavor for a year or two, or a long-term commitment for a decade or two.  Consider
    all the avenues in which you might spend your life, lead your family, or leverage your work to penetrate the people
    groups of the world with the gospel, for this is what you were created for.

In the church I pastor, we continually refer to what we call the “blank check.”  As followers of Christ, we have given him a
“blank check” with our lives, meaning that we are his to spend for the spread of the gospel in the world.  Our time is his,
our money is his, our families are his, and our future is his.  No strings attached.  We want to go wherever he leads, give
whatever he requires, and obey whatever he commands.  Every time we sense God leading us as a church toward
another unreached people group, we ask everyone in the church to put the “blank check” back on the table and ask
God if he wants them to go.

So does God have a “blank check” with your life?  Have you laid everything on the table and asked him,
How do you
want me (or my family) to give to the nations?
 Have you asked him, How do you want me (or my family to go to the
nations?  Do you want us to move overseas for the spread of your fame?
 In prayer, as you put these questions before
God, I am confident that he will answer clearly.  As we’ve seen, he wants his will to be accomplished through us more
than we do.  And as we follow him, he will lead us to the people, places, and positions where we can most effectively
make disciples of all nations for the glory of his name.


Asking the above questions about the nations can feel overwhelming.  Can we realistically be a part of the spread of the
gospel to every people group on the planet?  The answer to that question, though, is surprisingly simple.

Think about it.  Of all the men and women who have ever lived on the earth, Jesus was the most passionate about the
spread of God’s glory to all peoples.  And what did he do?  He spent his life investing in a few people.  His strategy for
reaching all peoples was clear: make disciple makers among a few people.

As we’ve seen, God will lead us to live in all kinds of different places in the world.  Yet regardless of where we live, the
task we have is the same.  Whether you’re a pastor who leads a church or a mother who works at home, and whether
you’re in the mountains of northern Afghanistan or the plains of Midwestern America, God has commanded every
disciple to make disciples.  No Christian is excused from this command, and no Christian would want to escape this
command.  So every one of us looks around and asks,
How will I make disciple makers among a few people?  This
question naturally breaks down into others:

  • How will I bring them in?  Making disciple makers starts with identifying a small group of men or women
    (depending, of course, on your gender, assuming that disciple making is best done with men together or women
    together).  Consider two, three, or four people God has put in your sphere of influence whom you can lead to
    make disciples.  Ask God for the names of specific people, or if you’re having trouble, ask a pastor or leader in
    your church for help.  Then invite those few people to spend intentional time with you in the days ahead for the
    express purpose of growing in Christ together.

  • How will I teach them to obey?  As we’ve seen, disciple making involves teaching people to obey everything
    Christ has commanded us.  So think through how this will happen with the few people your life is focused on.  
    What do you need to teach them from God’s Word?  How can you teach them in a way that helps them learn to
    read and understand God’s Word themselves?  Maybe you read through a Bible book together, or maybe you use
    some other tool for Bible study.  Regardless of what you do, though, don’t settle for simply teaching them
    information.  Focus on seeing their transformation.  When you gather together, ask questions about how they are
    following Christ and fishing for men.  You might start by using the six questions here to lead them to develop their
    own plans for being and making disciples.  These questions could then become a basis for you to ask them (and
    them to ask you) how they are following Jesus and whom they are telling about Jesus.  As we’ve seen, grace-
    saturated, gospel-driven mutual accountability like this is absolutely essential to being disciples and making

  • How will I model obedience?  This is where disciple making gets both interesting and invigorating.  We have
    seen in Matthew 4 that Jesus has called us to follow him.  Yet once we do this, and we begin fishing for men, we
    find ourselves in a position where we are now leading other people to follow us.  Paul virtually said to the
    Corinthian Christians, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” (See I Corinthians 11:1).  He told the Philippian Christians,
    “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me – put it into practice.  And the God of
    peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:9).  Paul had so lived his life in front of these believers that he could say,
    “Follow my example.”   Now that certainly didn’t mean he was perfect, and we definitely don’t have to be perfect in
    order to make disciples.  But as you focus your life on the few people God has given you, they need to see and
    hear and sense the life of Christ in you.  So invite them into your home.  Let them see you with your family.  Show
    them how to pray, study the Bible, and share the gospel.  Practically, making disciple makers involves looking at
    these few people and saying to them: “Follow me.”  So plan intentional ways to model what it means to follow

  • How will I send them out?  As you teach the commands of Christ and model the life of Christ, one of the
    commands you are teaching and modeling is Jesus’ command to make disciples.  The goal is not just for these few
    people you are focused on to follow Jesus; the goal is for them to fish for men.  So the time comes when you
    commission those few to find a few people of their own.  By then you have shown them what it means to make
    disciples, so now you send them out to do the same.  Of course, you continue to encourage, serve, teach, care
    for, and pray for them, but you also release them to take the time they have spent with you and begin to spend it
    with others doing the same thing you have done.  In this way, your life literally begins to multiply the gospel in the
    world through disciples you have made.

Francis Chan and I have developed material called “Multiply” for the purpose of practically helping disciples to make
disciple makers.  This material is available for free online at www.multiplymovement.com.  Regardless of whether you use
this material, another resource, or simply God’s Word, the goal is the same: decide to spend your life making disciple
makers among a few people.


This was Jesus’ strategy for bringing the Good News of God’s grace and glory to all the world.  Two thousand years ago,
he wandered the streets and byways of Israel.  He was initiating a revolution, but his revolution didn’t revolve around the
masses or multitudes.

It revolved around a few men.  Those few disciples would learn to think like him, love like him, teach like him, live like him,
and serve like him.  As he transformed followers, they became fishers, and you and I have the gospel today because
they were faithful in making disciple makers.

So let us be faithful to do the same.  We are followers of Jesus.  We have died to ourselves, and we now live in Christ.  
He has saved us from our sins and has satisfied our souls.  He has transformed our minds with his truth, fulfilled our
desires with his joy, and conformed our ways to his will.  He has joined us together in bodies of believers called local
churches for the accomplishment of one all-consuming commission: the declaration of his gospel and the display of his
glory to all the peoples of the world.

This task involves all of us.  No child of God is intended by God to be sidelined as a spectator in the great commission.  
Every child of God has been invited by God to be on the front lines of the supreme mission in all of history.  Every
disciple of Jesus has been called, loved, created, and saved to make disciples of Jesus who make disciples of Jesus who
make disciples of Jesus until the grace of God is enjoyed and the glory of God is exalted among every people group on
the planet.  And on that day, every disciple of Jesus – every follower of Christ and fisher of men – will see the Savior’s
face and behold the Father’s splendor in a scene of indescribable beauty and everlasting bliss that will never, ever fade

This is a call worth dying for.

This is a King worth living for.


FOLLOW ME: A CALL TO DIE.  A CALL TO LIVE., by David Platt, Copyright 2013, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.