I highly recommend Disciple Making by John Sypkes. Jesus did not command his followers to make converts, but to "go and make disciples." This book is written after a lifetime of practical experience making mature followers of Christ, who in turn can make disciples. The process he maps out is
This is the last in the series of four reflections on what we are learning from the Primitive Methodists, in an Australian context, through Praxeis.
learning to reach the whole nation
Like the Primitive Methodists, we seek to make followers of Jesus (disciples) in the
“harvest fields” of the people of this nation. John Benton was a
pioneer and Travelling Preacher, who believed that Primitive
Methodism should be allowed to go through the whole of England. He
had a passion for the nation.
In Praxeis we are grappling with the
Great Commission of Jesus to go and make disciples of all nations
(Mattthew 28:19). For us this means the vast continent of Australia
and the nations beyond. We are sending evangelists into the harvest
fields of this nation of Australia. So far we have workers in places
as diverse as Alice Springs, Perth, Melbourne, Western Sydney and
regional Queensland, working with Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, as well as
indigenous Australians and secular Australians.
Here is a video clip of Ron and Paula Turner, who are committed to the people of outback Queensland, an area larger than France and Belgium combined. Their talk is called
Please pray for us
in Australia. One of the early Dutch explorers called this country
“The Great South Land of the Holy Spirit”. Pray that this
prophetic word will be fulfilled, and that the Spirit of God will
move across our nation, just as Primitive Methodism did two hundred
years ago in England.
Praxeis is a movement based in Melbourne with a vision to reach the nation of Australia. Here is the third way that we are learning from the Primitive Methodists.
We are learning to shout
Shouting is a biblical form of worship. Many of the psalms exhort us to shout to the Lord (e.g. Psalm 100). It is a powerful way of praying. The early Primitive Methodists often had a shout as part of their prayer meetings, which were often so noisy that they were asked if God was deaf. Here in Melbourne, we have a shout at the end of an early morning prayer meeting each Saturday. On another occasion we had a loud shout with about eighty people present. After twenty minutes of shouting, it was followed by an awesome silence.
Shouting is simply praying out loud, where everyone prays in a loud voice together. We are learning that a shout is a valid form of prayer and worship, sadly neglected in our contemporary church.
“Praxeis” is a movement based in Melbourne with a vision to reach the nation of
Australia. Here is the second of four ways that we are learning from the Primitive Methodists.
2. We are learning to make disciples who make disciples
Methodist new believers their faith was more precious than gold.
These new believers in turn made many converts. In our terminology
they were disciples, who in their turn made disciples. A disciple is
an obedient follower of Christ. Like the Primitive Methodists, this
means we are seeking to bring people to faith in Jesus Christ, who
from day one can bring their friends and family to know Him.
“Praxeis” is a
movement based in Melbourne with a vision to reach the nation of
Australia. The word “Praxeis” is the Greek word for “Acts”,
as in the Acts of the Apostles.
Australia consists of some 23 million people, of almost every nation and language group
in the world. Australia is a so-called multi-cultural society, with a
significant proportion of Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Muslims,
Hindus and many other religious groupings. It is a geographically
large continent, with four time zones, and vast distances between
major cities. This is the first of four ways that we are learning from the
1. We are
learning that prayer is "core business"
We are learning that prayer is
not an optional extra, where
we ask God to bless
our activity and programmes. Rather we are learning that prayer is a
process of listening to God, hearing his voice, and responding in
obedience to God's word. Hugh Bourne recognised the importance of
cottage prayer meetings, and he called those who prayed the "pious praying labourers". Prayer meetings were powerful times and new
converts were remarkably strong in their new found faith. We are
learning that it is in prayer meetings that the “DNA” of Praxeis
In much of our
conventional ministry, programmes and activities lack the active
presence of the Spirit of God. Passionate, persistent prevailing
prayer is like putting petrol into the fuel tank. Without prayer, we
are attempting to drive a car that has run out of petrol. We can go
through the motions, with our feet on the pedals, and hands on the
wheel, but there is no power to move the car forward.
In 1791 John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, wrote to William Wilberforce to encourage him in his fight against slave trade.
In his biography of Wilberforce, Eric Metaxas makes this observation on Wesley's advice:
"The ... point Wesley was making was that it was not merely a political or a cultural battle. It was a spiritual battle. When Wesley wrote, 'you will be worn out by the opposition of men and devils,' he was not using a colorful metaphor. He meant it literally.
To fight something as wicked as the slave trade was to go against an invisible demonic host. God has the power to fight them, but we do not. That spiritual reality lay behind the political reality, and Wesley wanted to ensure that Wilberforce understood that if he was to be successful in what lay ahead. Great men like Wilberforce and Wesley had the humility and wisdom to know that whatever strengths they had - and they had many - they could not win without a total reliance on God. At its core, every battle worth fighting is a spiritual battle. Those men were able to succeed only because they humbled themselves and entrusted the battle to God.
But how does one do that?
This brings us to the second way that Wilberforce did what he did. The one-word answer is prayer. Wilberforce prayed and read the Scriptures every day, and he prayed with many others over these issues and concerns."
Eric Metaxas, Seven Men and the Secret of their Greatness, p48.