Heather Zempel, the discipleship person at National Community Church, shares an important reminder about making disciples. We have to work at making disciples just like a farmer has to work to bring forth a crop. Grabbing a "pre-ripened" disciple and showing others the fruit of your efforts is a short-cut. Do the hard work!
The last command Jesus gave his disciples was "go make disciples." There are many things we focus on in church leadership- vision, communication, relevance, preaching, programming, etc. But if there is anything we must get right, it's discipleship. The problem is that it's often easier to focus on other things because discipleship is so stinking hard.
We often look for disciples. We look for a potential leader. We hope to find someone with maturity and gifts that we can raise up. We forget that Jesus told us to go make them. Not find them. If you can't find a potential leader in your group, in your ministry, or on your team, it's not their fault. Don't blame them for being immature or needing to grow. It's your fault. It's my fault. We are supposed to make disciples. And making disciples is long, hard work.