The aim of making a follower of Jesus is love: for your disciple to love God with his whole being and for him to love others more than he loves himself. I remember a story of a newspaper reporter who was given the assignment of visiting ghost towns of the old west. In one town he discovered targets throughout the town with a bullet hole right through the bull’s-eye in every target. He then heard a shot ring out so he ran to find the shooter. He came upon an old man holding a smoking gun and asked excitedly, “Are you the one who shot all these bull’s-eyes?” The old man assured him that he was indeed the shooter. The reporter shouted, “We’re rich! With your shooting and my marketing ability we could become millionaires! Please give me a demonstration.” The gunslinger took careful aim at the side of a building and fired. He then walked over to the wall took out a piece of chalk and drew a target around the bullet hole.
As a disciple maker it is important to have a clear target for the relationship with my disciple. If I do not determine the end objective someone else will determine it for me-even my disciple may attempt to set the purpose and then try to move us to that end. Also, without a target I will be tempted to take out my piece of chalk and draw circles around anything that might look like a success as I struggle to figure out where this disciple relationship is going.
A clear goal is essential because it defines what kind of relationship I will have with my disciple and how we will relate with one another. The right end will result in a healthy relationship and will determine the right means to get to that end. A hazy understanding of the objective will bring dysfunction to the relationship, frustration for me with a disciple’s behavior, and plant distrust in the heart of the disciple.