By Darin & Noah Clark
Volunteer to disciple? That statement probably evokes many different reactions when you read it. Some guys may not have even gone past the title thinking, “I don’t have time to volunteer, I’m already overcommitted.” How about, “I can’t disciple anyone, I’m not smart enough.” Despite negative thoughts the enemy tries to use to neutralize one of the most powerful forces on Earth, the good news is this—God specializes in taking ordinary people, with a willing heart, to do extraordinary things. And what is one of the most powerful forces on Earth? A disciple-maker armed with the love and truth of Jesus Christ!
Do YOU want to make an eternal impact that can truly change the world? Then start with Jesus’ final command before He left this Earth.
The eleven disciples traveled to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped, but some doubted their worthiness. Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age,” (Matthew 28:16-20).
Was this command only for the eleven disciples? Are they the only ones that were supposed to go and make disciples? Of course not. What if the disciples, who came after the eleven, didn’t go and do the same? The world would be very different today. It’s not hard to imagine how horrible it would be. I’m so thankful for all the men and women throughout history that bravely lived for Jesus and discipled others in God’s truth.
Make no mistake about it, there is an all-out war on truth today. You can see it in the news, politics, entertainment, and it’s even creeping into our churches. The church needs brothers and sisters to step up and be bold disciple-makers. We need men, women, and children to be passionate about God’s Word and to lovingly share it with our generation and those to come!
So, how do we engage?
Don’t feel smart enough? Pray for wisdom. You don’t have to be a seminary-trained pastor or a theologian to disciple people. Many times I’ve felt inadequate to teach the kids and students I’ve worked with over the years, but God always shows up. These verses have always encourage me. “When they observed the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed and recognized that they had been with Jesus,” (Acts 4:13). Jesus said, “For the Holy Spirit will teach you at that very hour what must be said,” (Luke 12:12). Be with Jesus and trust Him to guide you, and He’ll amaze you at what He does.
Also, pray for God’s guidance to lead you to who He wants you to disciple. It may be kids, students, other men, a group, or one-on-one. For me, I’ve always had a heart for kids and students because of brokenness in my childhood. Examine your own life and see how God has shaped you in your life experiences. Consider talking to your pastor to see where your best fit may be within the church.
Are you overcommitted? Take a hard look at what you commit your time to. Eliminate the things that aren’t truly making an eternal impact, so you can make discipleship a priority. “Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith,” (Hebrews 12:1-2).
3. Be Discipled
If you’re not sure what to do ask for help. The best way to do that is for someone to be discipling you. Find a godly man that can be pouring into you so you can be passing it on to others. “What you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, commit to faithful men who will be able to teach others also,” (2 Timothy 2:2).
“Either we are fumbling the handoff to the next generation or we’re running with passion in order to give that to the people behind us,” says Robby Gallaty, senior pastor of Long Hollow Baptist Church. Simply put—don’t drop the ball!
4. Lead the Way
Dig into God’s Word. Love it, obey it, and share it! Set the example for those around you. If you have a family, it starts with them. Be the spiritual leader and disciple maker in your home first and foremost. Remember, JESUS is with you ALWAYS.
As my dad pointed out, discipleship is a relevant and crucial aspect in the development of every community. Whether it’s your family, your coworkers, or your church, discipleship will radically transform your life and the lives of those around you. I can testify about numerous men who have helped me mature both spiritually and mentally—Ben Midgette, Joey McCloskey, Dave Chambless, Craig Hendrich, Mark Simons, and countless others. However, the one male figure who has shaped my spiritually the most is my dad, Darin Clark. I cannot stress the importance of discipleship within your family unit enough. When you lead your family in the ways of the Spirit, the dynamic of your collective lives will bring abundant joy and peace to your home, and to anyone who enters.
If you aren’t a father or a husband, I cannot stress the importance of discipleship amongst your peers enough. On various occasions, I’ve been able to see God transform the lives of friends and peers, simply because I said yes to His calling (truly, this encouragement goes for both married and unmarried men). When we take a step of faith and obey the voice of God, He works through us and edifies our every step!
As we lead the way through prayer and fellowship, let us hold firm to God’s direction. That’s the beauty of discipleship—God simply asks us to be obedient, while He changes and strengthens the hearts of those we witness to.
Darin Clark lives in Nashville, TN, with his wife, Caree, and four boys: Noah (18), Caleb (16), Jacob (13), and Micah (10). He serves as a Graphic Design Specialist for Lifeway Christian Resources. He is also the Commissioner of the Father & Son Bowl.
Noah Clark is an aspiring writer and photographer living in Nashville, TN. He studies Mass Communications at Columbia State Community College. He also works at Publix, earning Associate of the Month for September of 2018.