How God Organizes People for Effective Action

God gives us numerous illustrations of how things should be organized.  They are found throughout the entire Bible.  For lack of a better term, this could be referred to as the headship model.  God places one person as the head of an organization and for the sake of that organization, it is necessary for others to follow that leader.

The Family Model

We have the best illustration for organization given to us in the family.  It is such an important organization that we are given its structure three times.  First we are given the natural family.  There is a very simple structure with parents being the head over children.  Later God gave us the example of His chosen people in the nation of Israel who were all one family which grew to become a nation.  This begins with Abraham as God promises to bless his family and make them into a great nation.  This is fulfilled when the Israelites leave Israel and God makes them a full fledged nation and gives them their own land.

Finally we have the example of the spiritual family.  All Christians are a part of God’s family.  The church is also organized as a family and as a headship.  Obviously Christ is the head of the church.  Under Christ though, we have pastors as the head of the church.  They exercise Christ’s authority as they teach what He taught and do as the Holy Spirit guides them to do.

In all circumstances, God should be our head and leader.  Things that are done outside of God’s leadership are destined to fail.  But these organizations all have earthly heads as well.  In the natural family, the parents are in charge of the children, but even in that there is headship.  1 Corinthians 11:3 says, “Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.”  This is often misconstrued and criticized as anti-feminist but nothing could be further from the truth.  The man has his authority only when operating under Christ.  Any woman who is under a man who is under Christ does not need to fear because the man’s authority should be exercised in the same way that Christ’s authority is exercised – with love.  By submitting to her husband who is submissive to Christ, a woman submits to Christ.  Those who do not submit to a husband who is submissive to Christ is therefore not submissive to God.

More Organizational Structure

Our biblical guide to organization does not stop with just the family model however.  While a natural family is small enough that it does not need any more structure, the national family and church family does.  In Exodus 18, Moses is visited by his father-in-law Jethro.  When Jethro sees that Moses is wearing himself out by judging over the people from morning till evening he realizes that Moses can’t keep up the pace.  Undoubtedly inspired by the Lord, Jethro offers Moses advice in Exodus 18:21-22, “But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.  Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you.”  Even today, our court system is set up like this with county, state, and federal judges.  Likewise, our military is set up with commanders of various sized groups – regiments, battalions, etc.

Numbers 1-5 gives the church instruction for how it should operate.  The Levites have been set apart for priestly duties but obviously not all of them can do the same job and there are many different jobs that need to be done.  Instead, God gives them specific tasks that families of Levites are to carry out.  We see this today in the church in regard to spiritual gifts.  In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul writes about the way that the gifts are to be used.  They are to be used for the edification of the church.  Because there are many different gifts, not everybody is expected to do the same work within the church.  Nevertheless, all of the work that is done is important as the entire church suffers without the work of one person’s gifts.  Therefore we shouldn’t disparage the gift that God has given us or that of another because they are equally important but different.

The best way for God’s people to be organized is to simply follow God.  God must be our leader as without Him, the best organization is doomed to fail.  Under Him, we have been given good examples of family that we should follow.  Even within the family however, God has shown us good organization.  The advice that was given Moses was so effective that we see it even today, thousands of years later within our courts and military.  The organization of the Levites was repeated once again in the church with the giving of spiritual gifts.  All of this should lead us to believe that God’s organization is very effective and the church should implement it whenever possible.

The State of Discipleship in the Church

To say that the church is failing in the area of discipleship is an understatement.  Surveys have shown time and time again that people who call themselves Christians do not even understand basic Christian truths.  There appears to be a disconnect between what is taught about what is actually understood and applied.  This goes back to the difference between education and discipleship.

Most good, fundamental Christian churches have an emphasis on education.  There is a theologically deep sermon and everyone is invited back at midweek for a theologically deep Bible study.  Personal application is assumed because everyone has been taught theologically deep Biblical truths.  The problem is that even if some are applying the truths, others are either unwilling or unable.

Jesus taught to the masses, so there certainly isn’t anything wrong with teaching a group of people something theologically deep.  What we need to remember is that not everyone understood or applied what Jesus taught either.  In John 6 He taught and fed the 5,000.  By the end of the chapter, many of those same people who had heard Jesus speak had deserted Him.

Where Jesus made the greatest impact was in discipleship.  He chose twelve men and invested His life into them.  It was those men who became the leaders of the early church, not the ones who simply heard Jesus’ teaching.

If the church wants to make an impact that will survive more than a generation, it must take the concept of discipleship seriously.  Sermons and Bible studies play an important role in building the church but they are one tool in a broad array that we have been given.  We must use everything that God has given us to edify the next generation of believers.  This means one on one discipling as well as teaching and preaching.

Education, Discipleship, & Spiritual Formation

Is it true that Christian education, discipleship, and spiritual formation all mean the same thing?  To many people, the words are used interchangeably but should they be?  Christian education, discipleship, and spiritual formation are all in the same ballpark.

While these words should mean the same thing, they have different connotations to the average person.  To start with, they are all similar in that they have the same goal in mind.  Education, discipleship, and spiritual formation all seek to make a more mature Christian.  They differ in their methodology however.

Education is knowledge acquired by learning or instruction.  Christian education is therefore acquired Christian knowledge.  Most often this is thought of as formal education but this can in fact come from anywhere.  One can be educated by a television program, through one-on-one discipleship, or through the written words of another in a book.  Some people are educated for education’s sake and do not apply what they know.  This is the drawback of education.  Ideally application is emphasized but a person can be educated with no call to action for use of the information.

Discipleship takes education a step further.  It seeks to not only impart knowledge on a student but to also give guidance on how to make this practical.  While educating, a teacher can offer practical application but they are unable to follow up with every student individually.  In the case of discipleship, a teacher can follow up with each student to see how they are applying the principles because there are far fewer students.

Spiritual formation comes as a result of practical application.  Paul summarizes spiritual formation in Colossians 1:10, “And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.”  Spiritual formation may come as a result of personal application of teaching, it may result from one-on-one discipleship, or it may result from a Christian’s personal study of God’s Word along with prayer and fasting.

We see education, discipleship, and spiritual formation evident in Jesus’ ministry.  Jesus taught to the masses, thousands of people at some times.  Some heard but never actually learned what was said.  Some understood and learned but never applied the lessons.  Others accepted the teaching and became followers of Jesus.  Jesus cast a wide net, knowing that some people would accept His teaching while others would reject it.

Jesus obviously modeled discipleship and did so better than anyone else.  He personally invested His life into the lives of twelve men.  From those twelve He had an inner circle of three men, Peter, James, and John.  He personally made sure that they understood His teaching and made it practical to them.  His success ratio was far greater than with just His teaching but even discipleship did not guarantee results as Judas Iscariot still rejected Him.

Finally spiritual formation came as a result of everything that Jesus did.  Some in the crowds accepted Jesus’ teaching, applied it, and grew spiritually because of it.  The disciples were obviously cast in the mold of Jesus.  And even after Jesus had left this earth spiritual formation continued as a result of what He taught and what the disciples understood with the help of the Holy Spirit.

The Source of a Christian Educator’s Message

When preparing any kind of lesson, a Christian educator has four sources which are available to him or her.  All of these sources are acceptable in certain situations but one stands above and beyond the others.  The four sources of a Christian educator’s message are tradition, observation, participation, and the Holy Spirit.

Tradition can be great, assuming that it is based on truth but it has a major pitfall as well.  With tradition comes the statement “this is the way we’ve always done it.”  That statement is like fingernails across a chalkboard to a pastor.  Given the current state of the church, the way we’ve always done it may have been effective at some point in the past but it’s not working now.  There is nothing wrong with doing things the way that they’ve been done in the past so long as the system is still working.  There is no point in reinventing the wheel just to be new and exciting.  But if the system is no longer working and what has always been taught is no longer getting through to people, it is time to change the message or the approach.

Please not that this in no way means changing the gospel or abandoning the teachings of the Bible because people don’t find them relevant today.  In fact, it means just the opposite.  Our message cannot change but the way that it is communicated needs to change.

Observation can definitely teach us but the onus of applying it is left on us.  We can teach someone about something that we did not experience but observed instead.  For instance, we can help someone who is dealing with an illness because we watched a loved one who experienced the same illness.  While we observed what happened, we don’t truly know what the experience was like however.

Observation can only go so far however.  One can watch a thousand shows on home repair or cooking but that doesn’t mean that they can fix a faucet or cook a gourmet meal.  Seeing something done is not the same as actually doing it and often one needs to learn from experience as they aren’t naturals at it the first time.

Participation can be a very effective teacher.  Jesus sent His disciples out two by two to give them a taste of what was to come.  They preached and performed miracles, then returned back to Jesus and reported everything that happened.  This was a very valuable experience that would serve them later on.  But participation has to be based on good experiences where a person learns from their mistakes and needs to have a sort of shakedown period afterward to reflect on what has been learned.  Without proper feedback from Jesus, the disciples’ experience would have been beneficial but not as much as it could have been.

Inspiration of the Holy Spirit provides the best source for a disciple maker.  When God is involved in the instruction of disciples, it makes the entire process better.  The easiest way to make sure that one is teaching under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit is to teach the scriptures.  2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells us “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

The other sources of disciple making can be and should be affected by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.  When teaching tradition, it is far better to teach the tradition of the Lord than that of man.  In 2 Peter 1:16, Peter writes, “We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ…”  What Peter taught was tradition that had been passed on by inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

In regard to observation, the Holy Spirit provides a mirror in which a disciple can view themselves.  2 Peter 1:12 says, “So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have.”  A disciple may observe the truth in scripture and compare whether their life is an accurate reflection of that truth.

With participation, the Holy Spirit is very much an active aid in discipleship.  Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 2:1-5, “I did not come with eloquence…but with the Spirit’s power.”  He also says in Romans 15:18, “I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me…”   Paul would not teach nor have his disciples participate in anything that was not something that he had experienced through the Holy Spirit himself.

The Shortcomings of Christian Education

What we consider education is mainly information sharing with little application or practical use.  I am just as guilty of this as a pastor as anyone.  We all assume that if a person understands the Bible that they will follow it.  Unfortunately that is usually not the case and a sermon or even a small group Bible study isn’t likely to bring about the transformation that we’re looking for.

I believe that people who deeply study God’s Word end up being better Christians but not because they know more.  They make a better attempt to follow God for the same reason that they study more – they love the Lord.  At best, Biblical education has an indirect effect on a Christian’s life.  A person knows more about God so they love Him more.  Because they love Him more, they want to follow Him more.

This is why discipleship is important and why more education doesn’t reach the desired goal.  Education isn’t at fault, but rather the lack of follow up and application.  Disciple groups aim for application and provide follow up on learned skills.  Jesus obviously spent a lot of time educating His disciples.  They heard all of the sermons that He preached to the masses and there was additional instruction just for them as well.  We only have a small fraction of what Jesus taught recorded in the Bible.  But Jesus didn’t stop with just telling the disciples what was right and wrong and explaining the Bible to them.  He made them live it.

Jesus sent His disciples out, two by two, into the towns and villages ahead of Him.  They preached and performed miracles.  Then they came back to Jesus and reported all that they had seen and done.  Jesus gave follow up instruction based on what they reported.  This is how discipleship truly works.  A person lives out their daily life in accordance with what they have been taught.  At the next meeting they report how things went and adjustments are made and further instruction is given.

Education is great, but it can’t do it all.  A person can gain the same information by reading a book or by hearing a teacher instruct on the topic but one will be more valuable to them.  Millions of students wouldn’t need school if they could just read it in a book.  Likewise, discipleship takes education a step further and makes it more applicable to a student than simply being instructed does.  This is why education is a start but not the finish line.

Does Ministry Demand Proximity?

Throughout scripture we see the importance of personal contact.  There must be a personal connection for discipleship to take place.  Discipleship involves investing into the life of a person and this is best done at close proximity.  But discipleship is not the same as ministry because it discounts a lot of work that takes place in and out of the church.

Without a doubt, Jesus made the most impact on His disciples.  He invested the most time into them and was the closest to them.  In turn they turned the world upside down for Him.  But Jesus certainly ministered outside of this setting.  He ministered to the crowds.  In a gathering of 5,000 men (likely 20,000 when counting women and children) people weren’t even close enough that all could see Him well and yet He still ministered.

Likewise, Paul traveled and formed new churches and made personal contacts everywhere he went.  Paul obviously had a lasting impact on those people.  But Paul was able to minister to far more people through his letters, to people whom he did not have contact with.  The letter to the Romans is perhaps our deepest theological book and it is written to a group of people that Paul had not even personally met but longed to see.  Paul obviously ministered to people who were far away from him and many that he would never even meet.

Today’s world is redefining proximity.  If I wanted to, I could have a video conference with a person on the other side of the world.  Our opportunity for personal impact has been greatly extended.  And our reach for ministry, regardless whether it is discipleship or simply teaching the Bible, is greater than ever.  You’re either reading this online or you are reading a copy that has been printed from the internet.  In an instant we can share information with people from all over the world.  This allows to minister to anyone at any time of day without leaving our homes.

I have run a website for over 10 years and have been able to share my thoughts and writings with well over a million people in that time.  My main website alone attracts over 150,000 visitors per year.  Paul certainly had a greater impact on the people that he ministered to but thanks to technology I can minister to more people in a year than Paul could have dreamed of.

In the end, discipleship needs proximity but ministry can happen from the comfort of our homes and extend to the furthest parts of the world.  There is a difference, some would say quantity over quality.  A discipling relationship takes much more time and effort but will produce greater results within one person.  Other types of ministry can reach a greater number of people without making as great of an impact as a discipling relationship.

Teaching Processes of Paul

Paul did not have a formal teaching process.  He did not teach from a curriculum.  Instead Paul’s life was an open book and he intended that everything he did would be of value for those who observed him.  1 Corinthians 10:31 reflects this attitude as well.  “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”  Paul did everything for God’s glory and expected people to learn from it.

Specifically, Paul talks about the ways that others are disciple by him in Philippians 4:8-9.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Because Paul walks the walk and talks the talk, he can tell people to do as he does and as he says.  This has implications for every Christian because we are all examples.  Any time that we go out in public and are around people who know that we are Christians; we are going to be observed.  Christianity is going to be judged based on how we act.

You’re well aware that the pastor is in the spotlight wherever he goes.  People have certain expectations of the pastor.  But it is the same for every Christian.  For better or worse, all Christians are under the same pressure as the pastor to live the Christian life as well as they can, most just don’t realize the responsibility.  You’ve probably heard it said as often as I have that people don’t want to have anything to do with Christianity because they are hypocrites.  Fair or unfair that is the impression that a number of people have of Christianity.

When pastors fall from grace, it is high profile.  The media will latch onto the story and carry it wherever they can go with it.  It is bad publicity for the Christian community.  But the truth is that most people do not judge Christianity based on the slipups of a few wayward pastors.  They may read about the sins of a pastor but they are most likely to judge Christianity based on what they have experienced from Christians.  That means the average person in the pew goes much further in shaping others opinions on Christianity than a pastor because the average person knows many Christians but not many pastors.

Pastors are held to a higher standard by people who know them.  People expect a pastor to be “holier” than them.  But the non-Christian world isn’t basing their view of Christianity on pastors, they are basing it on the average Christian in the pew.

Paul instructed his readers to imitate him.  Paul writes just this in 1 Corinthians 4:16, “Therefore I urge you to imitate me.”  As a pastor, Paul knew that everyone was looking to him as an example.  He could only set this example as long as he imitated Christ however.  In the end, Christ is the standard for all of us.  Others will judge Christianity based on what we do for better or worse, and the best that we can do is to imitate Christ.

Paul wasn’t a perfect example though.  He was open and honest about his failings as well.  He writes that he is the chief of sinners.  He writes about wrestling with God over his thorn in the flesh.  Paul was able to balance being a good Christian model and also acknowledging his faults and that he wasn’t the perfect model – only Jesus was and is.

Methods to Making Disciples

When it comes to discipleship, a one size fits all approach simply does not work.  What is working for Willow Creek or Saddleback church – two churches with attendance of 20,000 or more – will not necessarily work for the church of 100 or less.  This is a problem if we try to model our church after the success of another church.  Fortunately, the Bible gives us some guidance with regard to disciplemaking so that we are not forced to come up with our own model.  As could be expected, the Biblical model will work for churches of all shapes and sizes.

We know that Jesus was the master disciple maker and therefore there is a lot that we can learn by the way that He made disciples.  Jesus did not use only one method however, so we have multiple approaches that we can take, each of them a valid method of discipleship because Jesus used them.

There are at least four methods of discipleship that Jesus used.  They are the lecture method, the Socratic method, the discovery method, and the drama method.  All of these methods are found at work in the church today to varying degrees.  It is largely dependent on the audience which method is most effective.

The lecture method is by far the most common method that is found in churches today.  The sermon is almost always a lecture out of necessity.  Whether preaching to a congregation of 50 or 500 it is nearly impossible to engage everyone in a meaningful way that would involve interaction.  Unfortunately this is also why many people are attracted to larger churches.  They can slip in and out without being noticed or have any expectations placed upon them.

The lecture method is popular because it requires no commitment on the part of the participant.  They do not have to do anything aside from sit and listen.  They can absorb as much as they desire and if there is something else that grabs their attention, they will focus on it instead of the lecture.  For this reason the lecture method is the least effective in creating deep spiritual change.  However it is the most effective in reaching a large number of people at one time.

The Socratic method is best used on a one on one basis or with a small group of only a couple people.  It is interactive with the instructor guiding the discussion.  Questions are asked to cause the disciple to think about what they believe and why.  In lecturing, a person is simply told what to believe and hopefully why they should believe it.  With the Socratic method, the process is reversed.  A disciple will have to answer the question of why they believe things and ultimately reach the conclusion of what they believe.  What they believe will not be based upon what they were told but what they researched, evaluated, and questioned and have proven to be true.  People who learn this way will stand much stronger in their faith because they own it.

Jesus used the Socratic method when he asked the disciples questions such as John 6:67-69.

“You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.

Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”

Likewise in Matthew 16:15-16:

“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

In these passages, Jesus wanted a response from His disciples and He got one and caused them to really think about the question that He posed.

The discovery method is similar because it is a guided journey.  A disciple is expected to reach their own conclusions.  It is not a matter of leaving a person to discover on their own however.  When Jesus sent the seventy two out in Luke 10, He expected them to return to Him with their questions and observations.  There would be a debriefing period in which they would discuss everything that had happened.

Luke 10:1-4, 17-20:

“After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.’

“The seventy-two returned with joy and said, ‘Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.’

“He replied, ‘I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.'”

The dramatic method is most often employed during children’s Sunday school or any other youth activity that meets during the week.  The goal is for disciples to learn interactively through demonstration or vicariously by invoking an emotion.  Particular Bible lessons are much better suited for this type of learning than others.  It is difficult to dramatize the laws of Leviticus but when a student learns the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and the fiery furnace, they can and should come away with a feeling of God’s love and protection for them.

We don’t picture Jesus as being one for drama but this was a method that He used quite often.  Jesus often spoke in parables.  These were stories that had a point behind them.  All of the parables had the intent to teach but they contained everyday ideas such as planting and harvesting.

Needless to say, every miracle that Jesus performed was a drama as well.  We think of Jesus’ miracles as being about His care and compassion for people who are hurting and this is certainly true.  But Jesus’ miracles were to emphasize a point as well.  Some were simple proof that He was the Messiah.  Others showed that He was the Lord of the Sabbath.  Still others were more abstract such as when He cursed the fig tree He meant to teach His disciples about the spiritual state of the nation of Israel.

All of these discipleship methods are worthwhile for a teacher or the leader of a small group.  A person may use the lecture method, the Socratic method, the discovery method, or the dramatic method.  All are effective methods of disciple making, the group that a teacher is working with will determine what method is most effective.

Disciples are created in the image of God

“Disciples are created in the image of God but are still sinful.”  This is one of the greatest difficulties in Christianity.  We are a reflection of our Maker but we are like a mirror that is cracked.  Most of the time what is seen is okay, but if one looks too closely, they will see imperfections in the reflection and it will not be 100% accurate.

We are born in sin but Christians have been redeemed from that sin.  This means that we will not face the punishment that we are due.  Unfortunately it does not mean that we are free from our sinful nature as we will continue to struggle with this our entire lives.

We struggle with the world, the flesh, and the devil.  Every Christian has their own weaknesses and there is a temptation to downplay one’s own weaknesses while denouncing the weaknesses in others.  In the end, we need proper discipleship to overcome whatever weaknesses that we struggle with.

Jesus gives us the standard for resisting temptation.  In the desert He was tempted by the world (throw yourself down from the temple) the flesh (turn these stones to bread) and the devil (bow down and worship me).  Jesus resisted by quoting scripture each time, even when Satan tried to twist it for his benefit.  Only with proper instruction through discipleship will a believer know the Bible well enough that they can consistently resist temptation.

Our desire to continue to learn about God is a reflection of our being created in His image.  When people become too busy for discipleship or otherwise resist it, it is a reflection of our fallen nature.  There will always be some wins and losses in this battle, but ultimately the goal is for more wins than losses.  As a person learns more, they can resist their fallen nature and will want to learn even more.  But if a person resists, they will not be able to withstand their fallen nature and may become more and more entrenched in their resistance to discipleship.  The goal for ministry must be to break downward spirals and instead create upward momentum that will carry a believer to greater and deeper study of God’s Word.

The Purpose of the Great Commission

The purpose of the Great Commission is to make disciples who worship Jesus.  For those that are missions minded, there is a temptation to get caught up on the “go” part and miss the reason that we are going in the first place.  We are to make disciples, baptize them, and teach them to obey everything that Jesus commanded.

Some pastors argue that disciple making isn’t for everyone because the word disciple isn’t used in the Bible beyond the first generation of Christians.  The fact that the word disciple doesn’t appear in the Bible after Acts 21 doesn’t mean anything as far as I’m concerned.  It doesn’t invalidate Jesus’ original command to make disciples.  A disciple is a student.  The original twelve disciples were students of Jesus.  The many that followed them were students.  And generation after generation, disciples were made who were taught the same thing that their teachers were taught who were taught what Jesus taught.

Jesus modeled disciple making perfectly.  He taught to the masses but he spent the majority of his time with just twelve men.  Even among them, He had His inner circle of Peter, James, and John.  Jesus spent the most time with just three people instead of stretching Himself out over the thousands who wanted to watch Him perform miracles.

I believe that we’ll find much greater success in ministry if we carefully choose who we spend our time with.  It’s not playing favorites or being mean to acknowledge that some people are going to respond to us much more than other people.  Those who we can’t reach as well aren’t lost and we shouldn’t forget about them.  Instead there is likely someone else who is capable of reaching those people better than we are.  We all have different life experiences and different people are going to respond to us differently.  Even more importantly, we all have different spiritual gifts.  Someone with the gift of service is more likely to recognize someone else with the gift of service than perhaps someone with the gift of teaching.

In the end though, disciple making is all about passing along what we know to others.  The word Christian means little Christ.  We are “little Christs” because we followed the teaching that someone taught us about Christ.  We should be making more “little Christs” by passing along His teaching to others.