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Disciple Making

Chief among the building blocks of our subversive plan of action is our exaltation of God’s glory on earth. And the more people who are drawn into faith-based, grace-filled relationship with him through belief in his marvelous gospel, the more his glory explodes in the darkened, depressing corners of our cities and towns, of our nation and our world. His glory and his gospel form the cornerstones of our missional attack.

Also important, besides the pervasive spreading of the gospel, is the daily, living testimony we exhibit to the world through the church. Our conduct toward one another, teamed with our sacrificial compassion toward the overlooked and undervalued, paints a tangible portrait of our King and the desirable realities of his rule. The lives we lead are a visible sign of the kingdom, one that lights up the night around us.

But intertwined in here is another important leg of our action plan—the process of making disciples—a priority of the church as God continues to expand his kingdom in the world.

Following his resurrection and near the end of his earthly ministry, Jesus announced to his disciples the mandate we now know as the Great Commission, a statement loaded with implications for the subversive kingdom.

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. (Matt. 28:19-20)

Go. Make disciples. Baptize. Teach. Inspire.?

Truly, nothing melts away the bitter cold of a broken world faster than the exponential heat of one person discipling another, two discipling two, four discipling four, until new, mature believers are springing up and spreading like wildfire throughout the enemy camp—sincere, subversive makers of even more disciple makers.

This development of spiritual growth and grounding among God’s people, especially when applied to the eager hearts of new Christians, populates the church with biblically trained insurgents whose love for seeing God’s lost children found is only rivaled by seeing his found children fed. The kingdom grows at its most healthy pace when churches are taking seriously the task of rooting people’s faith in the full counsel of God.

This wisdom inspired Dawson Trotman to seize the discipleship directive of 2 Timothy 2:2 and begin multiplying his passion for engaging others in prayer, study, teaching, and Scripture memory. Trotman was no preacher, just a lumberyard worker. But challenged in 1933 by Paul’s exhortation to take “what you have learned from me in the presence of many witnesses” and commit it to “faithful men who will be able to teach others also,” he sparked a movement that today equips people from all walks of life with tools to help them lead others deeper in the faith. Business professionals, trade workers, students, homemakers—millions have been taken deeper in the Word (and become more subversively dangerous in the field) by the expansive reach of the Navigators and their seasoned discipleship groups.

Trotman didn’t set out to build an organization. He started with high school students, then with Sunday school classes, then with sailors aboard the USS West Virginia during World War II. And when one person was taught, that person became the teacher of another. And another. And another. More than seventy-five years later, this same one-on-one Navigators strategy is at work among as many as seventy nationalities in more than a hundred countries.

Going and making disciples works.?

It seriously subverts.