Disciple-making is a means to restore relationships as God intended for them to be at creation. Betrayal, selfishness, and sin separated mankind from God and people from one another as illustrated by the early murder of Abel committed among the first offspring of Adam and Eve.
Two-thousand years later Jesus came to earth to teach and show us what a love connection to God and to others should look like. He fashioned his disciples into a community that loved one another as he had loved them. “Men will know that you are my disciples by your love for one another.” Their community was their witness and their witness was their community.
To make disciples of Jesus is to ask people to connect to the heavenly Father and to their fellow siblings in the family of God. Disciples of Jesus are made in community because it is not possible to love God and not love His children.
Establishing these connections is difficult for your American disciple for a few reasons. First, it feels wrong to him because Americans are taught to live our lives independent of others and are rewarded for doing so. Second, it is awkward because most Americans just do not know how to build relationships. Third, to consider others ahead of ourselves goes contrary to our selfish bent.
Professor Allan Bloom observes that the American student today is, “ . . . spiritually unclad, unconnected, isolated, with no inherited or unconditional connection with anything or anyone.”
While individualism, independence, and isolation may feel natural to our culture it is unnatural to a follower of Jesus. To follow Jesus will be counter to the American culture.
- A disciple-maker forms a community by drawing each of his disciples into a group where they can learn to love one another. Much of disciple-making is teaching your disciples how to live in community by loving others and by learning how to receive love from others.
- You will have to help your disciples to build friendships with one another. It will not come natural for them.
- Forming a disciple-making community takes a long time. Jesus took three years with his disciples.
 Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987), p. 87.