Image for Disciple Making Shift #4 – From Teaching Information to Teaching Obedience

Disciple Making Shift #4 – From Teaching Information to Teaching Obedience

Photo of Preston ConderPreston Conder | Bio

Preston Conder

Preston Conder serves as the College Minister of University Church of Christ in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He grew up in Tyler, Texas, played quarterback at Arkansas Tech University and coached football at Ole Miss before being called into vocational ministry. Preston loves King Jesus. His vision is to catalyze disciple making movements across college campuses that mobilize this generation to finish the Great Commission. He is married to the love of his life, Meg. Fun fact: Preston once grew a mullet to fit in in Arkansas.

This article on shifting to teaching obedience is Part 4 in a series on Jesus-style disciple making. Here’s the Intro, Shift #1, #2, and #3.

We teach information.

We preach inspiring sermons with information. We teach Bible classes with information in original languages. We sit in our homes for organic conversations discussing how we feel about the information we’ve learned. We can even do chores while listening to a podcast where our favorite speaker shares meat-not-milk information.

Yet…that’s not what Jesus said. How did Jesus tell us to live?

Jesus said, “Teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:20).

We Teach Obedience

Disciples of Jesus teach people not just what the Bible says. We teach people how to obey what the Bible says. After all, information + application = transformation.

Our problem is we often don’t teach obedience.

If we want to return to Jesus-style disciple making, then we must shift from teaching information to teaching obedience.

Shift 4: From teaching information to teaching obedience.

What would happen if every person who went to a worship gathering didn’t just hear but obeyed? How much more personal transformation would we experience? And how much more life-giving would our relationships be? How much bigger of an impact would we make on our community? Just imagine, what would happen if every follower of Jesus lived a lifestyle of teaching obedience?

Church members want to be fed. Disciple makers want to be obedient.

So, how do we start to make this shift?

If you want to make the shift of teaching obedience but don’t know practically how to get started, here’s one tool to help you.

An “I Will Statement” (A Disciple Making Movement Tool)

Why the “I Will Statement”? The purpose of an I Will Statement is to help you apply what God teaches you and help others learn to apply what God teaches them.

What is an I Will Statement? An I Will Statement is the way you are practically going to obey God.

How do we use an I Will Statement? First, you hear from God (e.g., through prayer, daily Bible reading, sermon, etc.). Next, you write down “I will,” and then think of a specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound action step.

Let’s say you are reading Matthew 28, and you come to Jesus’ great commission. Here are some bad examples of an I Will Statement. I will…

  • Make disciples (too vague, get specific)
  • Pray about making disciples (too spiritualized, just do it)
  • Make 10,000 disciples (too big, start small)
  • Make 3 disciples by 2022 (too long-term, think short-term)

Here’s a really good example of an I Will Statement based on Matthew 28:18-20. I will…

  • Ask my neighbor Dylan to play basketball at the gym Tuesday and pray that the Holy Spirit will give me the boldness to have a spiritual conversation with him.

In the next article, we will explore the 5th shift to Jesus-style disciple making, as we focus in on our ultimate goal as disciples of Jesus.