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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Make Disciples Not Plant Churches

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 Make Disciples Not Plant Churches

Matthew 28:18-20New American Standard Bible (NASB)

18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 [a]Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you [b]always, even to the end of the age.”

There was a noted church planter in a foreign nation who went to one of the hottest conferences to learn how to plant more churches. He would learn the latest techniques in how mega churches were growing in the West.

While at the conference God spoke to him and said, "I called you to make disciples not plant churches."

This brother repented and started investing his life in discipling two men. After about a year discipleship least two men went out and started investing their lives discipling two other men. Five years later this brother has about 80,000 or so men and women in his discipleship network.

Did not Jesus say go and make disciples? Just wondering.


 2016/10/24 9:45

Joined: 2006/3/31
Posts: 110

 Re: Makev Disciples Not Plant Churches

The question is: what is a church/congregation?

A church is (as far as I know) a group of disciples living together as a family with the desire to build the kingdom of God in their region.

So when you make disciples, you are building churches. When there are no churches that disciple people (and are biblical) then it's time to start a new church from the group of disciples.

So when Jesus said "love eachother", "preach the gospel" and "make disciples" the natural consequence was that a local body of disciples (church) would come in to existence. Whenever a group of disciples came together (with leadship) it was called 'church'.

Wijnand de Ridder

 2016/10/24 10:09Profile


Matthew 16:18

18 I also say to you that you are [a]Peter, and upon this [b]rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.

It seems to me it is Jesus who is building the church. Our responsibility is to make disciples.

Simply an observation.


 2016/10/24 11:16

Joined: 2011/8/20
Posts: 1709

 Re: Disciples Vs Convert

What is the difference between disciples and Convert? If we understand the difference we can understand the great commission immediately. Not confuse ourself.

A convert is someone who hears a Gospel and accepts it. He may be even be born again. I accepted Christ in a mega Church but soon I understood that to be a disciple I needed Solid food which this Church was unable to provide me. Hence after a year I moved to a local Church fellowship and never turned back. So to be a disciple, one needs solid food that only a Church can provide. Just a travelling preacher who preaches Gospel from one city to another can only convert people but to make them disciples, they have to be part of a Church. If everyone keeps converting people then who will produce disciples? Without Church how will disciples come?

1 Cor 3:6:- 6I planted the seed and Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. 7So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow.…

what was Paul planting and what was Apollos watering? The answer is Church but it is Jesus who was building the Church. So yes Jesus builds his Church.

Ephesians 4:11:- 11And it was He who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12to equip the saints for works of ministry, to build up the body of Christ,

The Evangelists are actually part of Church who are called to build up the Body of Christ. This is how Biblical Evangelism is done. This is how Evangelism happens in my church.

I do not blame the traveling preachers of our time who do not care about building Church but just convert people. When I cannot do their work of Evangelism, who is I to blame them for being unbiblical. But if someone asks me how Evangelism is expected to be done in Bible then the answer is in Ephesians 4:11.

I hope I have given all Biblical answers as possible. You may not agree with me. We may chose to disagree, but please do not blame those who want to carry out the original purpose of God which is to build his Body on this earth. No other work even comes closer to this. Because this is the ultimate purpose of God for all believers.


 2016/10/24 11:55Profile

Joined: 2011/4/19
Posts: 169
Southern CA


Paul the Apostle met the risen Lord Jesus and was personally schooled in the Gospel for 3 years... did he spend his life?

Did Paul make disciples or plant churches?

Brother Kevin

 2016/10/24 12:46Profile

Joined: 2016/6/4
Posts: 941
Johannesburg, South Africa


Paul preached the gospel and taught the resulting followers and believers the word of righteousness.
He preached, made disciples ( follow me as I follow Christ) and established the churches in the truth in Christ.


 2016/10/24 13:06Profile

Joined: 2011/8/20
Posts: 1709


I have explained in Biblical way, how one cannot make disciples without planting Churches. Not all converts are disciples. So many places in Gospels it is mentioned that many came to believe in Jesus but later when Jesus told them the condition for discipleship they left him. Example John 8.

John 8:30- Even as he spoke, many believed in him.
31 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

The moment people start to Believe in Jesus, he started giving them the condition for discipleship. Here he mentions that they should continue in His Word to be called a disciple.

So a believer becomes a disciple only when he continues in the Word Of Jesus. Just believing in the Gospel does not make someone a disciple. Traveling evangelism can me believers but not disciple. Only a Church can raise Disciples.

Now after hearing all the conditions, the same Jews who believed in him in verse 30, said this in verse 48.
John 8:48:- The Jews answered and said to Him, “Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?”

How is it even believing? So disciples cannot be made by just travelling to places and sharing the Gospel. To make disciple, one person has to sow the seed and another has to water them continuously. Then God will build them into a Church.

For those who are not part of a Church, they might believe that they are SELF WATERING, but there is NO such thing mentioned in the BIBLE. If people can be self watered then Apolos was wasting his time preaching in the Church and watering the Disciples. There is role for all these in the context of Church, out of Church there is no Purpose.

***** Again I do not discredit anyone who is doing ministry without being part of Church. I am only saying what the Bible says. I do not find my self credible to assess any man's work. ******


 2016/10/24 13:24Profile

Joined: 2008/10/25
Posts: 3392
East TN (for now)

 Re: Makev Disciples Not Plant Churches

Matthew 18:20 For where two or three gather together in My name, there am I with them.


 2016/10/24 14:23Profile

Joined: 2009/12/13
Posts: 185
Northern Idaho

 Re: Makev Disciples Not Plant Churches

This is taken from the newsletter I received this morning from a missionary I know in Iraq.

"Cascading Movements

What are cascading movements?

Far from seeing a handful of people saved or a single church planted, our vision is to see whole nations transformed for the glory of Jesus. When disciples make disciples and a breakthrough occurs resulting in more one-hundred home groups (or fellowships), that is referred to as a "movement". We want to see movements among every people group in our area that transform all of society. We labor towards a big picture vision because our God is a big-picture God."

There is more but I will stop here.


 2016/10/24 18:12Profile

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