In the West, we fall short of understanding true discipleship. We think that faithful church attendance and listening to one man give a one-hour sermon once or twice a week is discipleship. Now, don't misunderstand me; we absolutely cannot afford to underestimate the value and importance of teaching, but in comparison to some other parts of the world, the focus in the West is too individualistic. We don't equip the believer or the earnest student of the Word to be a disciple and to quickly begin to disciple others. We are too passive and lack the immediate mobilization of others. I believe the great harvest of these last days that is before us will be reaped by the body of Christ and not necessarily just through individual ministry gifts. Common, everyday working people will affect the harvest more now than ever before.
Check out this powerful word of wisdom spoken decades ago:
"There is going to be a great spiritual awakening in the world, and it's going to come from plain, simple people who know—not simply believe—but actually know that God answers prayer. It's going to be a great revival of true Christianity, not a revival of religion. It's going to rise from the laymen and from men who are going about their business and putting God into what they do; from men who believe in prayer, and who want to make God real to mankind." — George Washington Carver, 1864-1943 (a strong Christian, most widely known for his development of the peanut)
It's been reported that the church in Iran is multiplying disciples at an unprecedented pace because believers there teach the earnest seeker obedience to the commands of Jesus and how to pray and interact with God immediately just as Jesus did and taught. They don't waste time with so many nonessentials and thin theological issues. This is one of the primary reasons the gospel is spreading like wildfire in Iran, because they believe discipleship begins the moment you come into contact with an unbeliever.
A disciple maker is one who stewards the commands of Jesus and presses His teachings as the central point in every interaction with unbelievers or earnest seekers. Obedience is the emphasis.
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always even to the end of the age" (Matt. 28:19-20, emphasis added).