FAT People Make the Best Disciples

The mission statement of Eastridge Community Church is “to make disciples who follow Jesus Christ.”

So we believe that as you journey toward that transformation of becoming a disciple, you take others on that journey with you. The best disciple makers are disciples themselves. (Dictionary.com defines a disciple as “a person who is a pupil or an adherent of the doctrines of another; a follower.”) There is an internal fear and insecurity when it comes to someone “following” us…as we follow Christ. Therefore somewhere in this process people generally ask these questions:

  • I have a long way to go and a lot to learn; why would anyone want to follow me?
  • How am I going to be able to invest in people; everyone I know is so busy?
  • There’s not a line of potential disciples at my door; who should I disciple? How do I pick someone?

Look for FAT people!

I don’t recall where this idea came from..but in a recent discussion about disciple making someone told me to look for FAT people. That sounded kinda weird..then they explained:


F – faithful (Look for people who are believers and are hungry to know God’s will. Since they are looking for God’s will, they will not assume you have it all figured out. Your transparency will be key in keeping them focused on what God wants to do in their life, not you. And look for people you believe will be faithful to you and to the process.)

A – available (Some people don’t have the time, rather won’t make the time to be discipled. Many folks won’t invest in a relationship outside of family or work. They “don’t have time”..but we make time for things that are important to us. Look for people who are available because they desperately want more of the Lord in their life.)

T – teachable (We need to look for people who are not too proud or who think they already know it all. We all have something to learn. And we can all learn something from anyone. This will discount many of the self-righteous, so-called believers you may know. Look for those that are humble and want to grow. They will be teachable.)

So in your pursuit of making disciples..look for FAT people. And you’ll be well on your way to fulfilling the Great Commission.

Does this simple acronym (FAT) encompass it all?

What would you add?

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
  • Trey,

    I appreciate your sincerity and faithfulness to our Lord. And I love applying acronyms to ministry (especially humorous, easy-to-remember ones). I wholeheartedly agree with your statement that, “the best disciple makers are disciples themselves.” However, I respectfully take exception to your definition of making disciples as looking for people “who are believers.”

    In the Great Commission, Jesus said, “make disciples of all nations.” He is commanding us to go to unbelievers everywhere and lead them to Him. For example, in Acts 14:21, Luke said, “When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch.” The reason that Paul and Barnabas were in Derbe was to convert unbelievers into disciples of Jesus, not equip people who were already believers.

    Additionally, the Greek word that Luke used when he said they had made disciples [matheteusate] is the same word Jesus used in the Great Commission when he said, “make disciples.”

    The Great Commission is a charge to convert people to follow Jesus. This is a process that involves “going” to unbelievers and “making disciples” out of them. This includes “baptizing” and “teaching” them. If making dis¬ciples is restricted to equipping a believer to follow Christ, the process ignores the converting element of Jesus’ call. In other words, how can we lead people to become disciples if they have already made the decision to follow Christ? Jesus did not say, “Wait until people become believers and then make dis¬ciples of them.” That would have been redundant and unproductive. Rather, we are commanded to intentionally guide people to follow Jesus, so that he can transform their old, sinful lives into new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17).

    Yes, FAT people need God. But in light of what the Great Commission says, perhaps the “F” could stand for people who are “Far from God.”

    God bless!

    • Well said, Shawn. And I agree. I didn\’t mean to qualify my definition of disciple so narrowly. We are absolutely called to go and find those whom God is calling to Himself. Thank you for that most important clarifying statement.
      You guys are keeping me on my toes today. Thank you.

  • I might change “T” to Trouble. Or add it as a second “T”.

    Small Problems for Prayers – some advocate reaching out primarily to people with severe chronic problems, as desperation will drive people toward a savior that can help them. This is true, but sometimes those same problems overwhelm the new disciple and their disciple maker. (It takes a person called and gifted to help with this sort of problem – not just anyone.)

    Often we don’t notice the smaller, less than a disaster but still painful, problems that people deal with but also help them to be open to a savior who can help. And a small problem in a person in Trouble, small enough for a disciple maker to render effective help, would open them up spiritually.

    “Look for problems in your neighbors” is the advice given to disciple makers at the worlds largest and most effective evangelistic church – Yoido Church in Seoul Korea.

    • Thanks David for the response. And I concur..we all need discipling no matter the size of our Trouble. It is my desire that the new normal for every believer is that they are involved in a discipleship relationship of some kind. Small groups and one-on-one seem to produce the best results (as you mentioned from Pastor Cho\’s church in Seoul Korea.) Thanks again for your comment and insight.

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