Mark Dever’s 4 ways to make disciples

There are all sorts of models of making disciples but certain elements are required in each. Mark Dever argues that these should include teaching, correction, modelling discipleship and love.

Jesus taught his disciples to live in view not of today or tomorrow, but eternity. We try to help others follow Jesus; we do deliberate spiritual good; we pray for gospel influence; we proclaim God’s words, and we do all this for the sake of the Last Day. Yes, we may see some fruit now. But the goal is always to present people mature in Christ then.

I’ve come to the conclusion that there are two main strands to being a disciple – one is multiplying and the second is maturing. Mark has a much stronger emphasis on the maturing.

What is interesting is how Mark’s ecclesiology shapes how each of these things takes place in contrast to others outworking of discipleship.

So for Mark teaching involves ‘preach[ing] expositionally and consecutively through books of the Bible, alternating between the Old and New Testaments’.

This requires skilled teachers, which in turn is likely to require intensive training. It’s a move for depth over breadth. It’s also entirely adapted to a highly literate and educated community with access & resources to buy books.


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