the weblog of Alan Knox

Helping others follow Jesus

Posted by on Sep 20, 2011 in discipleship | 6 comments

After Jesus was raised and just before he ascended into heaven, he told his followers, “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 all that I have commanded you.” (Matthew 18:19-20) This is the passage that is usually called “the Great Commission,” and something like it is included in each of the Gospels as well as the Book of Acts.

The idea of helping others to follow Jesus is also expressed in Scripture by terms like “edify,” “strengthen,” “encourage,” “imitate,” “grow,” and “mature.” I think we see this taking place especially in the “one anothers” that we find scattered throughout the pages of the New Testament.

When I talk with people about this concept, there is often a disconnect between recognizing this goal (of helping people follow Jesus) and actually helping them. In other words, we know that we should be helping people, but we don’t necessarily know HOW to help them.

So, would you be willing to help my readers with this? How do you help others follow Jesus? How has God used you in the lives of other people to help them be disciples of Jesus Christ and to grow in maturity in him?

(I would expect that there would be as many different answers as there are people reading and commenting on this post…)


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 9-20-2011

    First and foremost I try to disciple others by talking about all of the reasons why Jesus Christ my greatest treasure and by living a life that is worthy of imitating by reminding myself of who I am in Christ. Second I remind others of who they are in Christ. On an even more practical line we like to have guests over for dinner and go to other homes so that they can witness the work of God in our relationships with one another. I work hard at my day job and encourage others to do the same. I also love to give people money in their time of need and when they try to pay it back I tell them to help someone else in need instead and to consider their debt to me paid.

    These are just a few things that come to mind. As I close this comment to return to work, more ways are flooding in.

  2. 9-20-2011


    I was over my half century, and well practiced in institutional evangelism, making converts, whom we erroneously called “disciples”. I don’t doubt that God blessed our naivety in this effort.

    Converts to an institutional system, seldom grow to become involved in spiritual parenthood, they generally remain children in the faith, with heads stuffed with religious knowledge and nonsense.

    I began to see, and understand this, realizing that to make disciples one had to take on the role of spiritual parenthood, spending much time with the individuals, personally living, and demonstrating the life of a disciple, teaching along the journey. The old adage, “It is more caught than taught” is true.

    It is personally costly, but, oh, the delight when disciples become makers of disciples. That’s when I learned about multiplication: It’s more important to make a maker of disciples than to make a disciple!

  3. 9-20-2011

    Encourage people. Help them feel valued, help them feel they belong, help them feel competent. Be one who comes alongside to help — not just one to teach/lead/disciple.

    Then to muddy the waters a little bit, you’re asking how we disciple, but Jesus’s command in the verse isn’t to disciple disciples (although I think baptizing and teaching applies to the discipling process), but to “make” disciples, indicating that on first contact the person isn’t yet a disciple. So the question is raised, how do we “make” a disciple?

  4. 9-20-2011

    One of the biggest things the grace of God hass allowed me to partake in through His Spirit it to minister grace to new believers/”recommited” believers

    Many still can’t seem to grasp the “saved by grace” aspect and/or are just so guilt ridden with sin (both new and old) that they just can’t understand first of all why God would save them (which I think shows some of the truest repentance as opposed to people who tend to think they deserve Gods favor) and second why they still feel some of the same feelings do the same things and can’t change though they have the desire to

    Its great that God allowed me to come from such a tattered non-believing past and struggle through a lot of crazy stuff to be able to walk with people and encourage them since I too still struggle with soooooooo much

    Most people who know me (as a saved individual at least) would not know I have a lust problem or an anger problem or pride or greed or whatever and God brings those kind of people straight into my life and I love it cause together we grow and I tell ya most of the time they don’t even know that THEY are the ones ministering to me =D

  5. 9-20-2011

    Just wanted to add that one of my closest brothers that I disciple most lives 4 hours away

    That’s just the way it goes sometimes I guess

    So even space and time have not kept us apart and its awesome =D

  6. 9-21-2011

    Thanks for the examples everyone. Hopefully, we’ll be able to learn from one another as we seek to help others grow in maturity in Jesus Christ.