Making Missionary Disciples

How to Live the Method Modeled by the Master – Curtis Martin

The following is a brief overview of Curtis Martin’s book – Making Missionary Disciples: How to Live the Method Modeled by the Master. This book is recommended reading for all Catholics.


  • Evangelizing and disciple-making are like farming – ultimately, God controls the harvest, but there are principles and activities good farmers utilize and lesser farmers do not.
  • Three foundational habits in fostering effective evangelization: Divine Intimacy, Authentic Friendship, and Spiritual Multiplication.

The Three Habits

  1. Divine Intimacy:
    • The habit upon which everything else rests.
    • Evangelization is first and foremost the work of God; we will be fruitful in the mission if we are abiding in deep union with Him. (He is the vine; we are the branches.)
    • Jesus defines eternal life in light of relationship – not knowing things about God but being in relationship with the living God. (Inviting people to be in friendship with Jesus.)
    • God Transforming Us – through regular, personal encounters we become changed. If you place a cold rod in a hot fire, the rod takes on the properties of the fire – warm and glows.
    • Growing in Divine Intimacy – read the Apostles’ teachings, participate in sacraments, fellowship, and prayer.
  2. Authentic Friendship:
    • We must genuinely love the people we are serving, accompanying them in life and personally investing ourselves in them, truly becoming a friend.
    • Jesus met people in their particular circumstance, he did not passively wait for people to come to him; he went out to the people. (Incarnational Evangelization)
    • The personal time outside of formal faith formation is often where lives are changed the most and are more fruitful.
  3. Spiritual Multiplication:
    • This is impossible without the first two habits.
    • To invest in a few people so as to form them as followers of Jesus and equip them to go out and do the same for others; not just disciples, but missionary disciples.

 The Method

  1. Win
    • Lead people to a life-shaping encounter with Jesus – facilitating moments of encounter with Jesus.
    • God wants more from us than merely following rules; He wants a relationship with each of us.
    • Sharing the Gospel:
      • The joy of Christian life stands out – our witness, hospitality, and example   attracts others.
      • We must share the Gospel but also our very lives; we need to invest personally in people.
      • We need to share the heart of the Gospel message – the Kerygma.
  2. Build
    • The influence of friendship cannot be overstated. (Saints came in clusters because they were friends.)
    • Commit to building personal relationships with others.
    • Things that are most natural in life are learned by modeling, not mere instruction (i.e. learning how to walk). Holiness is the same way; instruction is needed, but demonstration is more effective.
    • Intentionally select a few people. Jesus only chose 12 men. Key moments were with only Peter, James, & John.
  3. Send
    • On Pentecost, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to the Apostles. They boldly went out and used their training.
    • They changed from disciples to disciple-makers.
    • “Make disciples of all nations.” (Matthew 28:19)
    • Becoming a disciple-maker requires deeper unity with Jesus.