Can You Have a Part in Disciple-Making?
1 As those familiar with farm operations well know, each spring a farmer plows, harrows and plants his fields. Thereafter he must cultivate, water and weed the crop. Thus he follows through so as to reap the fullest harvest possible. Likewise, a Kingdom publisher who shares fully in the door-to-door work must make further attempts to cultivate the interest shown by various ones.
2 It is true that some people, as it were, ‘come into the truth by themselves.’ But, most interest has to be cultivated and nourished carefully. Yet some say that they are not capable of developing interest and starting and conducting studies. Does this mean that such publishers cannot have a part in disciple-making?
ALL CAN SHARE
3 To “upward of five hundred brothers,” who had apparently gathered at a post-resurrection appearance in Galilee, Jesus said: “Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations, . . . teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you.” (1 Cor. 15:6; Matt. 28:10, 19, 20) Since those 500 or so brothers evidently included men, women and possibly even children, does this not indicate that all can share in disciple-making today? One older sister from Pennsylvania, who does not speak English well and cannot read the language at all, nevertheless has a share in getting Bible studies started. How does she do this?
4 She has a goal in mind when she engages in the house-to-house work. Her goal is not just to place literature, although she does place much of it. She manifests real concern for the welfare of the people with whom she speaks. Householders appreciate her obvious sincerity and kindness. She promises to return, and she does. But she brings along a publisher who is experienced in conducting Bible studies. A Bible study may then be arranged. Some of these persons have come into the truth. Although this older sister does not conduct studies due to her limitations, would you not agree that she has an important part in disciple-making?
5 Children likewise can share in making disciples. True, not all may be capable of conducting successful Bible studies. Yet all can have a share in aiding people to receive the life-giving waters of truth.—Compare 2 Kings 5:2-15.
6 Demonstrating how young publishers can enlist the help of others in making disciples is the experience of a young publisher in Italy. Because of his exemplary conduct in school, he was awarded a badge that had a cross on it. The boy thanked his teacher, but explained to her that he could not accept the award because the cross is a pagan symbol. The teacher said this was impossible. So the boy offered to have his mother explain. A Bible study was started and the schoolteacher, as well as her children, responded and came into the truth. Surely that young publisher, too, had a part in making disciples, do you not agree?
7 The fact is, one does not need to know a whole lot about the truth in order to have a part in disciple-making. The key is to have a love for what one does know, and a desire to share this with others. A five-year-old Canadian girl, whose mother was studying the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses, liked so much what her mother read to her from the Paradise book that she insisted that her baby-sitter read the book to her as well. The more she read, the more interested the teen-age baby-sitter became. Within a year, not only did the five-year-old’s mother get baptized, but so did four other persons who became interested as a result of the little girl talking to her baby-sitter!
8 No, disciple-making is not just for a few. The whole congregation can and needs to become involved. It is a Christian commission to become disciple-makers! (Matt. 28:19, 20) Each of us can share by warmly welcoming new ones and making them feel at home at our meetings. Time and again the friendly family spirit at the Kingdom Hall has been a major factor in convincing persons that we indeed are Christ’s true followers. (John 13:34, 35) Also, our comments at the meetings can help in making disciples. Some new ones have been especially impressed by the heartfelt comments of children and teen-agers. If we all have disciple-making as our goal, we can anticipate that many more of the Lord’s “sheep” will be added to our congregations.