Multiplying disciples

Published on December 5, 2016

With his wife Grace, Ying Kai was seeing success planting churches in Hong Kong. However, he shares how taking the Great Commission seriously completely transformed their approach to sharing the gospel.

It might sound obvious, but I’ve come to realise that the best strategy for sharing the gospel is Jesus’ Great Commission. We all know the words – I memorised it as a child. But are we
actually taking those words seriously?

Here are five key points that radically changed how I share the gospel.

Jesus says, ‘Go’

As the church, we often just say, ‘come’. When I pastored a Chinese church, every week I would tell our congregation, ‘Bring your friends! Tell people to come to our services!’ But how difficult it can be to invite people to church. Jesus didn’t say, ‘Tell people to come’, he said ‘go’!

If someone doesn’t realise they’re lost, they’ll never look for a way home. We have to be the ones to go to the lost and meet them where they are.

Jesus sends us to all nations

Do you choose who to share the gospel with? We used to go out to share the gospel and think, ‘He looks friendly, I’ll give this to him’. But how many people might we have passed over because we didn’t like the look of them? Jesus tells us to share with everybody, don’t pick and choose.

It’s all about making disciples

Jesus doesn’t ask us to make followers, church members or people who just call themselves a Christian. What does it mean to be a disciple? Disciples learn from their master, until they in turn are able to teach other people. Jesus tells us to train trainers – disciples who make disciples.

True discipleship doesn’t just involve sharing knowledge, but seeing disciples multiply into even more disciples as they share the gospel too.

Baptising them

Baptism is a way of publicly sharing your own story of God’s love. In so many places – even in some hospitals and universities – we are not allowed to share the good news about Jesus.

But it is always possible to share your own story. The Great Commission teaches us that
sharing stories goes hand-in-hand with making disciples.

Obedience makes all the difference

This part is very simple. We must obey what Jesus tells us to do and teach others to obey him too. But we don’t obey blindly or without reassurance – his great promise to us is that ‘surely I am with you always’.

So what next? I’ve come to realise that it’s all too easy for us to overcomplicate sharing the gospel. We worry that there are too many people to share the good news with and we worry that we don’t know what to share. Let’s make it simple:

Make a list of people you know who don’t know Jesus. Pray for each of them every day and commit to sharing the gospel with them when you see them.

Work out your story. Keep it simple – talk about your life before you met Jesus, how you met him, and what your life is like now. It doesn’t need to be any more complicated than that! Practise sharing your story with a friend. It will make all the difference.

When we started allowing the Great Commission to define our ministry back in the year 2000, we never imagined how powerfully God would use us. He wants to use you powerfully too. Don’t let anything hold you back – he promises to be with you, always.

Listen to Ying Kai’s full talk here: The Great Commission.