From Converts to Disciples...

In the New Testament, there are several progressions toward maturity in Christ. Though it is not stated specifically as such, the most basic would be:

1)   Converts

2)   Disciples

3)   Servants

4)   Friends

5)   Sons/Daughters

    The Great Commission is to make disciples, not merely converts.

    To fulfill the Great Commission, we must make converts into disciples of the Lord, not our disciples, as some discipleship programs have done. This dumbed down version of discipleship will inherently lead to abuses and excesses. This is nothing less than men trying to be the Holy Spirit to other men, a yoke that no one can carry without becoming twisted. All converts will need the ministry of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers to be equipped and mature as we are told in Ephesians 4, but this ministry is so that they grow up in all things into Christ, not us.

    A disciple lives to learn from their Master and be like their Master, doing the works that He did. When we wake up with this devotion on our hearts, seeking to know Him better and becoming more like Him each day, we will begin to live the life of a disciple. In truth, there is presently only a small percentage of converts who are yet disciples. To fulfill The Great Commission, the equipping ministries of the church must help all converts to get there.

    When new converts are led to their calling as disciples, they begin their systematic maturity in Christ by the renewing of their minds, learning to know His voice, and following Him so as to be His body through which He does His works.