Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
A disciple is an apprentice. It is someone who has a mentor to show them how to do what they have to learn to do. When the Lord commanded His disciples to “make disciples of all nations,” His command did not end at baptism of believers. Disciple-making also involves teaching believers how to observe all that Christ commanded. This means that making disciples requires a kind of partnership. It is a sort of spiritual parenting. It is helping individuals to apply what the Lord commanded.
That work continues until the learner, himself or herself, becomes like our Teacher, Christ Himself. A disciple is a person who manifests the attributes of Christ. As Jesus said, “By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” (John 15:8)
Paul describes making disciples this way: “what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” (2 Timothy 2:2)
This is personal work. It is “entrusting” the truth to faithful believers who pass it on.
Making disciples is teaching and sharing life-to-life.