“FAITH BY ITSELF, IF IT DOES NOT HAVE WORKS, IS DEAD.”
Your faith must propel you to do something. This field manual is set up in order for you to put your faith into action.
As you work your way through the manual, there will be action step boxes. At first the action steps are directed, but as you progress there will be less instruction. The end goal is for you and another person to have intentional, discipling-centered conversations that challenge you to take specific actions each week.
The three biggest obstacles towards effective disciple-making are: making time in our busy lives, transparency, and relational effort. None of these do we feel we have the margins for. However, the logic of the Gospel is backwards. The deeper the surrender of our lives—our time, resources, skills and relationships —the greater the impact. Victory is found through surrender. Faith is found in action.
Take a moment and consider: who is a mature disciple that you know? What characteristics do they possess? Daniel Im has identified 8 outward characteristics of a mature disciple:
- Bible Engagement
- Exercises Faith
- Obeys God/Denies
- Seeks God’s Will
- Self Shares Faith Stories
- Lives Unashamed
- Serves Others
- Gives Sacrificially
These are the fruit that has been cultivated through the long walk of obedience. Daniel Im also found that this fruit is the outward result of four effective efforts of input.
- Engagement with the Word of God
- Confession of Sins
Therefore, this field manual is designed to help you grow as a disciple in a very practical way by challenging you to put your faith into action. As you read through the opening section, you will be challenged to develop specific and simple action steps.
Then, Part II will challenge you to spend 6-10 months reading the Bible for 15min per day and meeting weekly with a fellow disciple to discuss what action steps the scriptures inspired you to accomplish that week. As you read the scriptures and reflect upon what God wants you to do in response to his love for you, these action steps become the objectives (the “in order to”s) and strategies (the “next steps”) for disciple-making.
Generally there are four major obstacles that prevent us from doing what we want—Skills, Knowledge, Motivation or the Enemy. Skills means we lack the experience to accomplish the task. Knowledge means we lack the resources. Motivation means we lack the passion or interest, and the Enemy means that spiritual forces block us from these goals. This field manual will give you the knowledge; now it is up to you to sharpen your skills, find the motivation and thwart the distractions of the enemy.
Questions for Reflection
• When was a time you actively grew your faith?
• Who has helped you grow in your faith? What characteristics do they display?
- In order to–become a disciple who makes disciples
- My next step is–to thoughtfully read Part I of this entire Disciple-Making Field Guide Field Manual and meet with ________ to discuss what it means to be a disciple-maker
- I will do it before–________________________.