The clearest exposition on disciple making is the one given by Moses to parents when the nation of Israel was established in the Sinai desert, as the people came out of Egypt. God’s plan was that parents would obsessively (yes, more on this word below) disciple their children and it would be the primary means by which the faith of Israel would be passed on from generation to generation.
The primary text is Deuteronomy 6:4-9. It is called the Shema and it had three key parts.
- Parents Acknowledge God’s Kingship/Sovereignty
Deuteronomy 6:4 - Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
- Parents Personally Devote Themselves to God Daily with their Entire Beings
Deuteronomy 6:5-6 - Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts
- Parents Intentionally/Obsessively Teach God’s Commands to their Children
Deuteronomy 6:7-9 - Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
I call Deuteronomy 6:4-9 the great commission before the great commission of Matthew 28:18-20. Truth be told, in history most conversions happened in the home. For example, most estimates are that in the last one hundred years about 80% of all people who came to Christ in North America did so before they were fourteen years of age.
There is no area of disciple making that is more important than family discipleship.