Train Them Thursday – Make Disciples!

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”(Matthew 28:19–20, NASB95)


Go therefore and make disciples. Many people aren’t very mechanical. I know I am one of those who is far more book-smart than tool-smart. That’s how God made me. Maybe God made you more mechanically inclined. Could you send me your contact information? I’m always in need of your help!

When Jesus gave this command He had already spent three years of intensive, 24-hour a day, 7 days a week life-on-life training with the disciples. They watched Him in every conceivable situation. Whether He was leading or being attacked, walking along the dirt roads of Israel or teaching over the clamor of the city of Jerusalem, Jesus gave those He discipled full access.

When Jesus calls us to “make disciples’ He assumes a few things. First, we have chosen to follow Him with our lives. This isn’t a part-time, religious event we attend. Jesus is our King and Lord, Master of our Universe, so to speak.

Second, He also assumes that we have been discipled. Jesus knows that we cannot share what we do not possess. That is one of the reasons why He came to Earth. He chose to disciple the twelve. And, in so doing, He knew there would be a model that would not only be reproduced through the lives of those whom He personally discipled, but also a written record of how He discipled and what He did as He discipled. We call this journal of discipleship The Gospels.

As we dig through the historical records of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, we will be doing so chronologically. In so doing, we are attempting to understand what Jesus did first and second and so forth. As we do that, we will see how discipleship succeeds and what we should be doing with our disciples.

Working with people is wonderful. Discipling them is commanded. Choose to do more than follow Jesus. Choose to obey Him and make some disciples. By the way, we’ll be done when we reach the world!


Train Them Thursdays seeks to wed the Great Commission directive of Jesus with the practice He employed while on Earth. Each nugget is meant to encourage the reader with a “can-do” spirit to realize that discipleship is something each person is both capable of and empowered to accomplish. Dr. Matthew Lee Smith, Executive Director of Eagles In Leadership, writes each thought and they flow out of decades of his tried and true field-testing in multiple settings from rural to inner city.

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