Disciplemakers: Impact Players for Christ (K. Payne)

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Author's bias | Interpretation: conservative | Inclination: dispensational | Seminary: Western (Portland)

Welcome to disciple making:

This series on disciple making is Booklet 1 – Essentials, which is part of the program Transferable Cross Training (TCT) developed by Dr. Karl Payne. The purpose of TCT is to help equip men and women to be effective disciple makers. The materials are field tested with various proof verses that can be memorized, and each lesson is focused on transferability. It is our desire is for those who accept the challenge of discipleship that, with or without a Bible and notes in hand, each individual who has taken the time to master the concepts and principles in this series will have confidence to comfortably and biblically respond to common questions and comments from friends or enemies of Christ. By God’s grace we can make a difference in eternity by being actively involved in the most important job assignment entrusted to mankind. For more information about TCT or obtaining the booklet series, see

Please remember that the uniqueness of this discipleship series is its simple transferability. It is the expressed desire of the author that students actually use these materials after completing each booklet, by sharing them with others in a manner consistent with 2 Timothy 2:2.

The New Testament gives us a blueprint for the dynamic ministry of evangelism and discipleship. As obedient followers of Jesus Christ, evangelism and discipleship are not an option. We must obediently participate in the process of systematically sharing the things we have learned with those who will also faithfully carry this message to others.

2 Timothy 2:2 clearly explains this principle:

"And the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also."

Timothy is given 3 commands:

1. Listen and learn.

2. Locate faithful men.

3. Teach these faithful men so they can train others to reproduce the same process.

Notice the 3 levels of human interactions:

1. Paul disciples Timothy.

2. Timothy disciples faithful men.

3. Faithful men disciple other faithful men.

Matthew 28:18-20 illustrates the priority of emphasizing both evangelism and discipleship and not allowing one to be developed or maintained at the expense of the other. There are at least two triads contained with these verses which relate directly to disciple making. Can you identify and explain them? (hint: Note the relationship between each verse. Don’t ignore the participles.)

And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

There are 3 Greek participles that help you understand Jesus' command to "make disciples":

As you go - make disciples

As you baptize - make disciples

As you teach - make disciples

There are 3 assurances that Jesus provides you that go along with His command to "make disciples":

1. I have the authority to give you a job because all authority is mine in heaven or on earth.

2. Since I have all authority, I have a job to give you - "make disciples."

3. I will always be with you as you go about making disciples.

1 Peter 3:15 is helpful in understanding the priority of the concept of reproductive discipleship:

"But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;"

There are 3 priorities to achieve.

1. Set apart Christ as Lord.

Sanctifying Christ as Lord is a dedication. One measure of your success of sanctifying the Lord is asking this question, "If you have friends who have a question about God, are you their first or last option?"

2. Be prepared to answer reasonable questions.

Providing reasonable answers for reasonable questions is an action.

3. Give answers that are gentle, powerful and controlled.

Giving answers that are gentle, powerful and controlled describes an attitude. It should not come as a surprise that the people who ought to be ready to give answers for the faith they say they have are the same individuals who have consciously made Christ Lord of their lives.

Notice the difference between simply discipling a student verses discipling a student to disciple others. For essentially the same amount of effort, your ministry can either be one of addition or of multiplication. Let's do the math:


1 person won to Christ every week for 16 years = 832

1 person won to Christ every day for 16 years = 5,840


1 person won and discipled for 6 months = 2

2 more people won and discipled over the next 6 months = 4


Year 1 = 4

Year 2 = 16

Year 4 = 256

Year 16 = 4,294,961,296 (approximately the world's population in 1982)

It is easy to understand why a ministry of multiplication is a better investment of a person’s time, talent, energy and effort than a ministry of addition.


  • Discipleship is a biblical command, not just a good idea.
  • The two triads contained within Matthew 28:18-20
  • The triad contained within 2 Timothy 2:2
  • The triad within 1 Peter 3:15
  • Teachers share content. Trainers share their lives; the trainers job is not done until the student can reproduce. We need more trainers; discipleship is not convenient.

Karl Payne's personal note: I grew up in a home that would have been considered moral and ethical, but not religious. Both of my parents were teachers. Dad was a Mathematics / Science specialist for the Sacramento City School District and my mom taught grade school. My Dad would occasionally pray for our food, but we did not read the Bible or discuss religious topics. I decided my first Sunday of seventh grade that I had no real interest in church or Sunday school and informed my parents that I would no longer attend either. I assumed I was a Christian because I had been baptized as a child at my mom's request, but my primary interests were baseball, football and music.

On June 17th, 1970 I became a Christian while attending a youth retreat sponsored by Young Life, a Christian ministry focused upon reaching high school students. The two biggest hurdles I faced in that decision both related to honest assumptions. My first assumption related to what I had understood it meant to be a Christian. I assumed that I was a Christian because I had been baptized. Christians get baptized, I had been baptized, therefore, I was a Christian. I also thought that heaven, if it was real, was attained by being a nice person. I reasoned that since on a moral and ethical scale which had the Pope on one end and Hitler on the other, that my live style was closer to the Pope's than Hitler's, thus making me a shoe in for heaven if God was fair.

The second assumption I had made related to education. In eighth grade my science teacher told our class that "religious people were mental cripples who needed a crutch to get through life." I was very impressed by this teacher and took to heart what he said. In the eleventh grade, my physiology teacher told our class that "educated people believed in evolution." As I grew older my education had become more important to me. As a result of several teacher's comments I assumed that it was not possible to think deeply and still be a Christian. Religion in my mind was therefore something for nice people who were not too concerned about an academic education. My first assumption was to confuse churchianity with Christianity. Churchianity represents men and women making their best efforts to reach up to God and receive His approval, based upon their individual efforts to be found worthy in His eyes. Biblical Christianity is a message explaining how God has chosen to reach down to mankind through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, providing salvation by His grace as a free gift to all who believe, in spite of our unworthiness. Religion is essentially a message of man reaching up to God. Christianity is a message detailing how God has reached down to man. Religion exalts man. Christianity exalts God. I had received just enough religious training to confuse religion with Christianity and had rejected an honest consideration of Christianity in the process. My second assumption was to confuse naturalism, dialectical materialism and the suppositional baggage assumed to be true by both philosophical world views, with actual empirical data and good science, which provides conclusions based upon testing, observation and repetition rather than wishful thinking and naturalist / atheistic suppositional indoctrination.

On the 17th of June, 1970 at 8:00 P.M., I listened to a gentleman clearly explain that God's plan is that I have eternal life (John 3:16, John 10:10, Romans 5:1), but that my problem with sin (to miss the mark in word, thought or deed) had separated me from Him (Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23). This sounded more like bad news to me than good news. He went on to say that God had provided a remedy for my sin by sending His only son Jesus Christ to die on a cross as a payment for my penalty (2 Corinthians 5:21, Philippians 2:4-10, 1 Timothy 2:5, Romans 5:8, John 14:6, Ephesians 2:8-9), but that it was absolutely necessary for me to respond to His remedy for the remedy to be effective (John 1:12, Romans 10:9-10, Revelation 3:20). I bowed my head in that room and quietly asked Jesus Christ to become my Savior and Lord. Jesus came into my life and has made me a new person, from the inside out (2 Corinthians 5:17). That was nearly thirty-one years ago. Knowing Jesus is more than religious activism or academic curiosity. It is a real relationship. Spiritual maturity is a process (1 John 2:12-14) that should continue to develop and grow as long as we are alive.

God used a Campus Crusade for Christ high school ministry to teach me that aggressive, reproductive Christianity (2 Timothy 2:2) should be considered normal Christianity. Sincerity is necessary for Christian living, but it is not sufficient for impacting our world for Christ (Matthew 28:18-20, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21, 2 Timothy 2:15, 1 Peter 3:15). He has used several godly men, seminary and nearly twenty-five years of serving in church ministry to teach me that making disciples means far more than leading people to Christ and asking them to pray and read their Bibles. It is impossible to give what you do not have or share what you do not know. When people tell me that their Christian faith is boring, what they are really telling me is that they do not pray, they do not study and they do not give away what they have been given. The Christian life is an adventure that is exciting to live and share. To judge Christianity by people who sit on their hands, criticize others and turn a living faith into dead religion is to misrepresent Biblical Christianity. Christianity was never meant to be lived as a passive spectator sport.

Dr. Karl Payne, at heart, is an apologist who loves to train and equip Christians for spiritual service and warfare (Eph.4:11-16). He enjoys preaching, writing and retreat / conference / seminar speaking. He derives his greatest pleasure tackling the challenge of teaching Christian workers, interns and budding preachers / teachers at both the Bible College and Seminary levels. In addition, he has co-authored two books: A just Defense and Cross Training through Multnomah Press.

Series: Skill Builder
Disciple Making

Series: Skill Builder
Three Types of People

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Author Index: Payne, K

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