Why Is It so Hard to Mobilize Others to Make Disciples?

Updated: Apr 15

Jesus calls all of His people to go forth and make disciples, so why is it so hard to get others to obey?

Mobilizing others to join us in making disciples can feel a lot like the Parable of the Soils. Some aren’t interested, some initially get excited but quickly fall away, and others get caught up in life's many cares. A life of disciple making requires sacrifice, so it makes sense why people are hesitant to answer the call. In this episode of the CDM Podcast, Paul and Rebecca address some underlying reasons why people shy away from reaching the lost, as well as what it's going to take for us to be true disciples who make disciples.

Excuses, Excuses. . .

When we start taking seriously the call to go and make disciples, we can get so excited by the principles we’re learning and applying, but as soon as we invite other believers to join us, we often get a variety of excuses.

Two of the most common responses we get are:

  • People who don’t really listen to us or show any interest at all.

  • People who initially get very excited by the stories we share of what God is doing and readily join us, but within six months their interest wanes, they ghost us and abandon disciple making.

In the end, the main reason why people aren’t interested in, or don’t continue, disciple making is because eventually it changes everything.

  • It changes our hearts.

  • It changes our outlook on life.

  • It will most likely change how we do life.

  • It changes how we do ministry.

It's not that there's nothing that will look exactly the same, but disciple making can turn our lives upside down if we take it seriously.

Right now in our Christian culture we tend to view the Great Commission and loving our neighbor — i.e. the people outside of our family, immediate friends and church — as something that “super Christians” do.

In reality, when it comes to disciple making, the Great Commission is supposed to be normal for all believers. There's a reason why it's called the Great Commission; Jesus gave it to everybody, so when we don't do it, we're not passing up on an optional upgrade for overachievers, we're sinning.

The Parable of the Soils

The parable of the soils in Matthew 13, Mark 4, and Luke 8 is a perfect story for what is going on when it comes to people’s responses to disciple making.

In this parable, a farmer sows seed on four different kinds of soil. The first soil is so hard that the seed doesn't even take root. It's just plucked away. These are the people who, upon hearing about disciple making, are completely uninterested.

The second two soils have to do with people who initially like what they’re hearing and start down the path of disciple making, but soon quit. For some, their personal sins hold them back while others are consumed with worldly cares that choke disciple making out of them. In both cases, something arises that keeps us from being obedient.

The last soil is good and prepared. It doesn't have the same distractions and worldly cares and that allows it to bring forth much fruit. These are the people who hear about DMM, choose to make disciple making a lifestyle, and make disciples worth multiplying who make disciples worth multiplying.

Daily Obedience

What we see a lot of times is that people don't have the heart of a disciple maker yet. So what does it look like for us to actively develop a heart that will allow us to make disciples?