Disciple Making Small Groups with Josh Burt

This week we talk about disciple making small groups with Josh Burt. Josh is the youth pastor at Grace Bible Church in Columbia, MO. He has attended Grace his whole life and been on staff there since 2015.

Josh has used the Knowing Him study in groups for nearly a decade with students and adults at his church. We talk today about how studying the life of Christ and walking in community are essential to disciple making small groups.

Email Josh Burt

Grace Bible Church

Knowing Him Study

Quotes From the Episode:

And if they’re living for Christ, then you’re creating a generational ministry by pouring into the ones that are being looked up to anyways.

– Josh Burt

But then to have them look and say what you have, we want, and it’s not what we have, what we have found. In the life of Christ, they want that in their life.

– Josh Burt

What is driving us is that passion that we have for Christ. That passion, to just see Jesus for who he is, see Christ for what he’s done in me, love others, the way that I’ve been loved, because Jesus just changes absolutely every aspect of your life, no matter where you live or what time you live in.

– Josh Burt

You got to be faithful to the disciple makers, those that you’re pouring into, not so that they would be faithful to you, but because he was faithful to you because God was faithful to you.

– Josh Burt

Show Transcript:

Josh Burt | Season 2 Episode 5

Disciple Making Small Groups


Josh Yates: Welcome friends to the everyday disciple makers podcast. And I’m in the studio with our co-host Wayne Brzezinski.

Wayne’s great to have you. 

Wayne: I am thrilled to be here 

Josh Yates: As you always are. It’s, it’s, it actually really is fun to to have these interviews, these podcasts that w we, we some great ministry leaders. And I know about you, both, you and I are kind of in a local church serving, working applying our skillset.

This is just we’re everyday makers. And as churches are now coming back into an, a person maybe, maybe where you are at, maybe nothing’s really changed or maybe your church has you know, had online and, and then a hybrid. So keeping online, or maybe they’re in-person Wayne, what are some of the things that you’ve had to learn?

Now going back into person and, or maybe now hosting on online. Services. What are some things that you’ve been learning through this, this season? 

Wayne: Yeah, I’ve, Been involved in churches. I’ve, I’ve been able to preach. I’ve been able to play in the worship band, but a few weeks ago I was I was asked to be the online host.

So essentially like. I was asked by church leadership to talk during church. Which is a little bit weird because, you know, usually the preacher doesn’t want you just chatting it up during their message. But  it was my role, my responsibility this week to, to interact online.

And it’s kind of a weird thing to find that line as like, well, I want to be engaging with these people who, who are engaging with our, with our worship gathering online. But I don’t want to be distracting. And in high school, I, I got a vote in the yearbook. You know, people like get all these really nice things.

I was the class clown 

Josh Yates: You’re literally voted the class clown.

Wayne:  Yeah. Like I explained a lot accomplished something, but like, so you give the class clown. This host icon next to his name and the online, online chat for church. And I’m like, okay. So how do I be engaging and not distracting? And I think it was a lot more stressful for me than I, than I really expected.

But like I got asked to do it again. So apparently it did at least okay at this. I’m, I’m scheduled once a month for, for the next few months to be our online host. And I’m very excited 

Josh Yates: about it. Hosting and apparently not trying to throw in some, some, you know, puns or jokes or responses or sarcasm and the message.

So you’ve got to respond to with the  pastor’s saying, and then trying to engage in conversation during the message. Is that what I understand?

Wayne:  Yeah. Which, like I said, it’s, it’s weird because a lot of times we go to church and, and we don’t talk. Sometimes we, you know, say amen or something to the pastor, but we don’t generally talk to each other during a pastor’s message or, or at least it’s discouraged.

Doesn’t mean I never do it, but it’s discouraged. But now with this online world, it’s like, yeah, just chat with these people about what I’m saying while I’m saying it’s, it’s kind of a new dynamic. 

Josh Yates: Sure. I wonder these dynamics will be or things we’ve learning through online. I mean, maybe what people should be showing up in their pajamas because they’re so used to just, Hey, I don’t have to necessarily get ready for church.

I know when our church opened up. In this, even trying to get our kids ready and out the door, it took 10 times the amount of time and energy and effort just to get prepared, to get, to go into church. And then what I’ll while sitting in service. 

The first couple of times I kept thinking of that online engagement, where typically you would you would give a, an emoji, a clap, I clap amen, or a heart emoji or whatever. And I felt this this this nerds to want to just, just shout out them emoji, which would have been kind of weird, kind of, 

Wayne: kind of what I mean, I guess you could like take your phone, turn down the volume and, and be watching the live stream while you’re there.

So you can still kind of the best of both worlds as it were. 

Josh Yates: Yeah. And trying to experiment. So in the church that I was the interim youth pastor and, and so a quarterly I was, was teaching. And so it felt like every time that I was up to preach they would change one of the, where the venue style. So, Hey, let’s make it more of like a living room, more casual or Hey, next time.

Hey, let’s. Let’s let’s, let’s present this kind of like you know, with a, with monitors and you’re reading through different things. And so I felt like every time I was having to learn how to ride a bike again. Right. And, and this has been a, it’s been a challenging stress, stressful season for a lot of us leaders.

And now re-engaging what that’s gonna look like. And how do we, how do we still you know, navigate the uncertainty of, of church. And that’s why I’m so encouraged with today’s conversation. Because Josh Burke I think just really gets it down to this is what it means. It’s really simple. It’s the faithfulness of God and what it means to be a disciple who makes a disciple.

So here’s my interview with Joshua Bert. 


Josh Yates: Josh, it’s a pleasure having you join us on today’s podcast. 

Josh Burt: it’s great to be here, man.

Josh Yates: We came in contact actually through a very kind of interesting Sonlife story. One of our gals here in the office, kind of managing our social media account was talking about some of our leaders and kind of introducing some of our staff.

And so she posted something about one of our leaders, Joshua Edwards in Chicago land area and you happen to come across your news newsfeed you’re following Sonlife or I dunno, the connection. It was this very interesting story that I want to make sure I get it right. But I want to hear from you first.

So just tell us a little bit about this moment of connecting these worlds as a very fun and a very fascinating story. So, so Josh, tell us a little bit about your connection to Sonlife 

Josh Burt: Yeah, so kind of, kind of a crazy Caroline, my wife and I were kind of in a, a time when we were wondering kind of what’s the next step what’s where’s where are we going to go next? And I feel like my wife and I have this discussion often, especially when it comes to disciple-making, but when we were scrolling through our newsfeed and I said, Hey, isn’t, aren’t the people that you went and saw in Costa Rica.

Aren’t there last name Edwards. And she said, yeah, Mark and Karen. And I said, well, I just saw a guy in Sonlife named Josh and, you know, And there was a story about him. And so I was like, do you mind reaching out to Karen and just seeing if they’re related? And she said, sure. And so she reached out to Karen and Karen said, yeah, that’s my son. 

So long story short, we had multiple zoom meetings that then landed me with with Josh . And so with you buddy, and kind of a roundabout way, I had multiple like Just introductions into what Sonlife was. Caroline and I have been using Sonlife for what feels like almost a decade of our life and then to kind of meet the faces behind the stuff that we’re using and, and the process that we’re going through.

Man, it really shone a new light on just kind of what we’re doing and made it, made it, I don’t wanna say made it more authentic because obviously this is the life of Christ, but made it just more real in the sense that there are other people all around the world doing it. So 

Josh Yates: yeah.

Yeah. So, so your wife, Caroline is from Brazil. And so she was looking for a mentor.

Josh Burt: Yes. 

Josh Yates: And, and part of that connection, she met  Karen Edwards. So that’s Josh’s mom and who are missionaries in Costa Rica and missionaries with Sonlife in Latin America. And made this connection and was being discipled through really, I think the Knowing Him a study, if I, if I remember the story correctly.

And so your wife was being mentored and being discipled through the, through Karen, and then all of a sudden you realize, wait, yeah, Sonlife there’s a connection to, to the states. They’re. They’re here. 

Josh Burt: Yeah, actually funny story is we, so I met my wife in Brazil when I moved to Brazil for a little bit. And she had this, this study called Knowing Him. And when we were dating long distance. Cause I came back to the states she said, Hey, I want to take you through this study. And I was like, well, it’s in Portuguese.

Like, I mean, I’m not that good. So we literally started translating this from Portuguese into English only to then come to realize that it was translated from English into Spanish and from Spanish into Portuguese. And we were translating it back into English. So that’s kind of a long story short to realize, Hey, I think I could just probably buy an English version.


Josh Yates: That is, that is so interesting to see how the disciple making movement goes forward and it goes, apparently goes backwards. It goes the other way reverse 

Josh Burt: If you guys want a horrible translation of knowing him, you can have the first couple of days ago.

Josh Yates: You’re a youth pastor or young adult you’re associate pastor, I think I mean, overseeing youth ministry and the church you grew up in and tell us a little bit about kind of just okay disciple-making and your ministry context where you’re at now. 

Josh Burt: So my wife and I when we first got engaged, I was working I was actually working IT. And when we first got married we decided. Just before we got married, we made a decision that we were going to do disciple-making inside of our house and that we were going to have a small group inside of our house.

And at that time we were both really passionate about teenagers. Not that we’re not anymore, but at that time that was our passion. And so we decided that we were gonna have a, a, what we called. Discipleship small group, right? Discipleship group in our, in our living room. So within a month or two of us moving in together and living together and being married we, we started a small group discipleship group there, and it just kept blossoming and just kept growing.

And it’s just always been a part of our marriage. Always been a part of my life to the point where now that I’m on staff here Caroline. And I we we’ve gone through the Knowing Him cause we use knowing him as Sonlife knowing him material. This will be, if I, if I tried to count this up before I did this, I, I think we’re on group eight or nine.

And so what we do is we take the 50 quote unquote day study and we break it up into weeks. But the number one key aspect to, to. Discipleship for Caroline and I is relationship. It’s absolute relationship. So if we come in and there’s a week when just it’s chaos or you know, somebody is going through something, we will put the material aside and we just love on each other through how we’ve been loved on.

And so when we present this to the group, it’s not like, Hey, we have a 50 week study. It’s more like, Hey, we have a two year-ish study. If you guys want to jump into this with us. Well, probably in sooner, but just so you guys know the commitment that you’re jumping into. And honestly, so again, I go back to the fact that like we met all of these things after the fact.

So I feel like we just kind of were learning Sonlife on our own because we just kind of stumbled into this material. And so it’s funny now to be on the other side of it and actually hear how it’s supposed to be used. And then how we were actually using it and like, and all of those pieces. And, and so what we, we kind of have like a hybrid of how we do a whole bunch of stuff now which, which I think is pretty, pretty neat. 

Josh Yates: love that. And I think that’s, that’s the power and the simplicity of, of our heartbeat and Sonlife is that we want to come alongside administrator leaders and say, Hey. Well, you’ve got to contextualize this. You’ve got to figure out how you’re going to make disciples in your, in your sphere of influence, but here’s some resources, here’s some tools to make you maybe a common language, having some, some tools in your tool belt to help you kind of walk alongside the way.

So, Josh, I think actually that is , that is the end goal is to see people contextualize it. And actually it’s probably going to look hybrid is going to look a little bit, you know, it looked like you and that’s the beauty of it. So I’m super curious about these eight to nine groups just. Maybe, maybe drill down a little bit more.

What does these look, what is let’s look like? And then what’s the, what’s the intended goal at the end of those, the, that sphere a time of two years or so, what have you seen kind of maybe the you know, the multiplication of that. 

Josh Burt: For sure. So as far as like youth goes one of the quote unquote requirements that we went through was. This is going to be an invite group. So this is a, this is a group that we would say, Hey, we, we believe that we see, you know, fruit in your life in some way, shape or form. And we’re going to invite you into this group because this isn’t a come and go group.

This is, this is a priority. You’re going to prioritize this in your life. And so. Normally the way that we kind of draw that line and youth group, especially is can you drive is one of the first things, because that’s pretty simple when it comes to the ability for us to say, Hey, we’re going to do it at this time at this place.

If they’re going to prioritize it in their own life, then being at the the, the, the whims of a parent, driving them or a guardian driving them or big brother and sister sometimes that’s, that’s out of their control. So we want to keep as much in quote unquote their control as possible. 

With teens one of the things that we do is we, we utilize just the just their passions, what they’re passionate about. And then on top of that encouraging those passions. So that they can go back into the teens that, or even preteens that look up to them and they can see what’s important in the upperclassmen’s lives, right?

The, the, the, the S the seniors and the juniors and the sophomores of the world. And if they’re living for Christ, then you’re creating a generational ministry by pouring into the ones that are being looked up to anyways. And so, We did about four. I want to say four. Of our youth, small groups or youth discipleship groups.

And then we’ve started other groups along the way. I’m currently doing a an upperclassmen guys group right now. Actually we meet at about seven o’clock in the morning in my garage every Wednesday morning. Because that was the only time they had available before. And so that was one of the things that we do.

And then we’re also my wife and I are leading two adult groups as well. And there’s, we’ve seen an insane amount of fruit come from just all of those things, all of those groups. So

Josh Yates: Yeah. W w what are you learning from that? When the people walk through that, and they’re, they’re being exposed to the life of Christ and looking at Jesus in a, in a 50 week study, w what are some of the aha moments that you’re, you’re seeing people coming awakened into the person to work at Jesus. 

Josh Burt: So I, we look at how Christ did discipling. Which is probably a good model, but we look at how Christ is discipling and he would disciple in small group, but also personal like individual as well as in a group model. And he would always drive into the individual model, what he taught in a group. And so the way that I, the way that Carolyn and I will do this is what we teach in the group is the Knowing Him study.

And we have fellowship and we have those opportunities for questions, but then throughout the week, We will meet one-on-one or we’ll have phone calls or text messages with each individual person in those groups. And we’ll really kind of drill into, you know, what are your passions? What w how do you see this kind of being applied quote unquote to your life?

And man, just, just to watch, I mean, teenagers is one thing because teens, like they are. Th their passion, their energy level, their time commitment. It’s just insane. But when you can take that, and one of the groups that Caroline and I are, are working with we’re the youngest in the group. And just to have that ability I, I’m not going to lie.

It was one of the most terrifying things I’ve ever walked into was to lead a group that’s all older than me. But then to have them look and say what you have, we want, and it’s not what we have, what we have found. In the life of Christ, they want that in their life. And this, the fruit of that is coming through. 

There now Sunday school leaders and small group leaders, a few are actually even becoming elders in our church. And it’s just to witness this and be a part of this is not only humbling, but just it’s something that I can’t describe other than just to say, it’s so cool to be a part of.

Josh Yates: Yeah. Yeah. I love that intergenerational disciple-making that you’re, you’re learning and growing in. And I think, yeah, it is super intimidating. When you get people who are older than you. There’s a sense of, Hey, they should have already. I’m learning from them. And all of a sudden you it’s, it’s a reverse script.

And all of a sudden you’re like, wait, what do I have to offer and opening that up. And, but if it’s, Hey, let’s just learn from Jesus together. That’s the common piece and that’s the, man I love that. That’s beautiful and very encouraging. But as you’ve been working through this creating a culture of disciple-making in your church, trying to influence, you know, minister leaders, what are some of the things you’ve learned along the way?

What are some of the sticking points? Some of the challenges, some of the things you’ve learned help kind of embed really DNA of disciple-making into your ministry. 

Josh Burt: So Matthew 28 ends with the, you know, you will be my witness in Jerusalem, Judea, sumeria, and the outermost parts of the world. Right. That’s how, that’s, how it ends or Acts, Acts one starts with that and kind of be a part of this. Especially having literally kind of met this curriculum while I was in the utter most parts of the world.

It was really kind of a drive home moment to me. And, and, and to see that. Where it all kind of starts is in like home church or your church family, but that’s not where it should end. Like we should, we should be able to pour into one another and that’s fantastic. But one of the things that actually I was talking to a pastor one of the co-pastors here at grace literally a couple of days ago and I was explaining this idea that I have that my wife and I are actually about to start. 

And this, and one of the, one of the things that I was saying was, man, you know, it’s so difficult to see disciple-making in the way that Matthew 28 kind of lays it out. And I was like, it would be so cool to be a part of that. And I started looking at how were, how my wife and I are doing this.

And as of right now, we literally lay Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the world. If you were to look at the people that we’ve poured into. The life of Christ that’s been poured into us. We’ve actually done it. Like we we’ve we’ve, we’ve looked at this and seen Jerusalem as grace Bible church or our home church.

Judea is like the city or the county that we’re a part of even a state, Samaria of being cross-cultural. And you can have those cross-cultural ministries even inside of your own city, but cross-cultural ministries. And then the other, most parts of the world is pretty obvious. But as of right now, we’re literally discipling people because of technology.

Every single week in one of those areas. And to have the ability to, to go back to the thing that we hold in common may not be language or culture or, or what’s happening in the place that we’re located in. What’s. What is driving us is that passion that we have for Christ that passion, to just see Jesus for who he is, see Christ for what he’s done in me, love others, the way that I’ve been loved, because Jesus just changes absolutely every aspect of your life, no matter where you live or what time you live in.

And so to have that kind of ingrained into your, your, your church family. It almost takes that stress away. When you look over and you’re stressed out and you look over and somebody else gives you that smirk of being stressed out as well. But it’s that like? Yeah, we can keep doing this. Like we got to keep doing this.

It’s totally worth it. So to have that bet net that passion be  just co-mingled or to be owned as disciple making community like a community of disciple makers. It’s just, it’s something that until you have it or until you’re a part of it, it’s just, it’s unexplainable.

Josh Yates: Yeah. What would you say to somebody who’s like, man, I love that. I own that and man, the context of maybe my, my Jerusalem was a little rocky, it’s a little harsh and I feel like I can’t quite get over the hurdles of really building that culture. What would you say to someone who’s maybe feeling a little discouraged or feeling like, man, I, I just I want to, but I don’t know how to get there.

Josh Burt: I literally had this question posed to me from a few people that my wife and I are discipling last week. That’s literally what they’re going through right now. My response was you’ve got to be faithful to him. Or you gotta be faithful to others. You got to be faithful to the disciple makers, those that you’re pouring into, not so that they would be faithful to you, but because he was faithful to you because God was faithful to you.

So your faithfulness isn’t driven by your circumstances or, or by the lack of commitment. I. One of the things that Caroline and I hybrid or, or T took. And, and we turned into a hybrid form when it came to the chairs. The four chair model was this, this right here. And it’s just what we took is we took these chairs and we turned it into a kind of a generational ministry in and of itself.

We took the chairs itself and. We look at it as you grow as a human is the same way that we should look at how somebody grows as a Christian. Somebody as they, as they walk into faith, they’re learning how to identify themselves. It’s the same. I mean, I don’t want to reiterate or our own, I mean, Sonlife like, it’s, it’s, they’re, they’re identifying and they’re feeding and they’re walking and they’re talking and they’re doing these pieces on their own and are learning how to do these pieces.

So. Just because someone in your life or most of the people in your community, aren’t responding to that. So if your Jerusalem quote, unquote, Jerusalem is rocky, what I would tell you, if somebody is hungry, there’s gotta be somebody that’s hungry and just keep being faithful and God will be faithful to you.

I don’t want to say it’s all going to be, you know, fantastic and amazing and incredible. You’re going to be stressed out. But if you’re faithful to the community, that you’re a part of because he was faithful to you, then you’re not actually looking at the outcome as who is, who is being responsive, but how you have responded.

Josh Yates: Hmm. Hmm. Yeah.

I think that’s one. I love the fact that I’m looking over your shoulder. I’m seeing the little I don’t know if that’ll, you know, doll chairs,

Josh Burt: Yeah.

Josh Yates: DAS chairs the process. So, you know, to our listeners, if you’re trying to figure out if this is your. Trying to figure what the process of disciple-making.

I think Josh, what you’re trying to unpack is, Hey, being faithful to that process and being faithful to keep your eyes on the decision-makers, who are hungry, look for the ones who are ready, look for the ones who are looking and, and trusting God for, for the results. But you as a disciple maker, How, how do you stay fresh and not get discouraged with that?

I mean, I think, I think you, you had a couple of things in there, but I want to drill down into a little bit more of your heart, Josh, like in the middle of, of exhaustion in the middle of just trying to keep people focused on Jesus. It’s a lonely place. That’s a discouraging place. 

And I think as disciple makers, You know, we, we invest into people and all of a sudden we see them, you know, go back to, if you will, that kind of slide back to that second share or students who have investing into all of a sudden kind of either walk away from the faith altogether and, and stop making really is, is. a hard place because doing programs is easy, but doing disciple-making is, is the grit of, of the ministry.

So just let us learn a little bit more. How do you stay? Just encourage in the middle of this.

Josh Burt: Man, I look at like anything between. Luke 10 and Matthew 28. I mean, you look at these times when, when Jesus was explaining what it meant to follow him and explaining to others what it meant to be a disciple maker. And then also in turn to when he was down, when he was out, when, when he was just needed those times, what, what he would do, wasn’t try to go back and recreate a program or.

Go back. And what he would do is just go back to God. He would go back to his father and you would see him just be intimate just to have this spiritual intimacy and be guided by him. And that’s so, so important. I can’t ex like I cannot overemphasize this. One of the things that’s been poured into me was you can, you can wrap yourself in so many good things that you miss out on the best.

And we can be as, as leaders and as disciple makers, we can have so many good options around us. And we lose it. We lose the best thing for us because we burn ourselves out on good. And you have to look at this, you have to look at this as a leader and say, what is God want best for me? And the only way that you can figure that out, the only way that you can find that out.

Because if I were to say, you know, between my wife and I love my wife, she’s the closest relationship I have to, to intimacy with God than anyone else. And, but if I were to say, Hey, you know, I want my, I want to know what my wife wants for me to do, but I never talked to her. I never asked her. I never, I never looked for her, her, her tells her, her son, like I never watch those things, then I’m never going to be there. I’m just gonna assume. 

And so what I would say is man, to stay fresh, it sounds a little cliche, but to stay fresh is to just look and remember the purpose. Like, remember the drive, like it’s not success by the world’s standards.

It’s not how many people you have in groups or how many people have, have done what you’ve asked them to do or how many people are driving, you know, just awesome, incredible lives. Just following Christ. It’s it really comes back down to, are you faithful? Because he was faithful. So driving yourself back home to that, that, that, that.

Quote unquote slogan, but that like your, what is your purpose in making disciples and your purpose and making disciples? And I’m sorry, I don’t, I don’t wanna, I don’t wanna keep going, but like the purpose in making disciples to me is just, I was made a disciple. I was allowed to be a disciple and like that, that’s what drives me.

I was allowed to be one. And so, because I was allowed to be one, I get to look out and be like, you can be one too. And it’s not up to me to, to drive you to that point. I had a professor when I was an education major that used to say you can, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make a ninth grader, do their homework.

And that always made sense to me when it comes into Christianity. And that’s really what it is. When you’re making disciples. I can show you living water. I can show you truth. I can present it. I can package it. I can program it. But I can’t make you do it. I can’t ever force you to do it. And even though I think sometimes as leaders and disciple makers, we wish we could for their own good.

We have to remember that our faithfulness comes not in how faithful others are. Our faithfulness comes and how faithful he is.

Josh Yates: Josh. That is so refreshing. You know, we, we hear that, we know that. But I would, I would encourage our listeners almost to hit pause. And just journal that. You dropped some great, just fresh water, I think for our part souls. And there’s so many times we get stuck with what’s all spinning around us and our hearts can be so weighed down with one of the tyrany, the urgent, or all the things that are happening in our, in our society and culture today.

But to go back to the mission of that one, I am. A disciple have been called to be disciple, and God wants to use me to make another disciple. And it’s, it’s not rocket science. 

Josh Burt: No. Not even in fact, I look at fishermen. I mean, like he asked the guys that couldn’t re you know, you’re looking at a guy like Peter, who had to have Mark, right. His, his gospel for him. Cause he couldn’t even write. And that guy is the one who says, go and do this. Like, if I can do it, you can do it. We have that phrase all the time.

If I can do it, you can do it. If Peter can do it, we can do it. Yeah.

Josh Yates: I love that. We were talking before the show a little bit to some of the things you’re learning about that process of equipping. And I think let’s go there a little bit now of things that you’re learning and growing in terms of just how to equip people. In this process. And I think that he’s in a little bit, this brokenness of our hearts and things we’re working through this face of there’s a lot happening with our disciples and we’re feeling the weight from the pressure, but this is so life giving. 

But I think there’s another piece to that you also are discovering and understanding how to actually better equip your leader. So share a little bit more kind of what’s on your heart on equipping ministry leaders today. 

Josh Burt: For sure. So I’m gonna, I’m gonna kind of jump a little bit back. Into this into really what drove me in bill word study that I think is, was just super cool. And I promise it won’t be too boring. But there was, you had the Deuteronomy stuff or the Deuteronomy in Deuteronomy, you have like the great Shema. 

And it says hero Israel or listen. Oh, Israel. And that, that term, that hear O Israel, listen, oh, Israel is really this term that’s like, listen so that you can do right. Listen. So that you can impact or let this what you’re about to hear impact your life, apply what you’re about to hear. Right. And then I, you know, you, you move into that and then you, you hear the, with all your heart, soul and might. Well, then Jesus quotes it and he’s, he adds something and, and, and w what he adds kind of makes it feel like, well, you know, If he is the word, why did he misquote the word?

Right? Like, why didn’t he misquote Deuteronomy? Like Jesus just misquoted Deuteronomy. What just happened here. But I love how that unpacks and how Jesus kind of looks at the great Shamar as this reminder to Israel, that God was faithful to you. You must be faithful to him, right. And this Deuteronomy passage.

And then when you, when you jump into Luke, Jesus reminds Israel to do the same thing, right. Be faithful to God because he is faithful to you. And then you look and Jesus, when he’s calling disciples, it says that he, that they were mending their nets. And this is what drove me into this, right? This hear Oh Israel or listened to Israel.

That term of listening with intent to apply, not just hearing, right. Not, not how sometimes I hear my wife listening with intent to apply. Right. And, and this application-based is sometimes what’s missed when it comes to disciple-making and really it drove me into what is this word equip? 

So how do you equip someone for disciple-making? Because you can, you can send them to seminars or you can have them read a book or you can tell them all these things. And as long as they’re hearing it, it feels like, well, why are they applying it? And the difference is is they, most of the time, they don’t need to hear more. They need to apply more of what they’ve heard.

And so that’s where the shifted for me into how do I equip someone? Not what, w w what else do I tell them? How do I equip someone better? To make disciples. And this is really where it came. So when Jesus walks up to the end of the fishermen and it says, you know, follow me and I will make you fishers of men.

But right before that, it says they were mending their nets. And I love this word. I love this word men. And most of the time, especially because of the context of the story, you overlook it, you overlook the term men, but fishermen when they were, when they would come back in from fishing all night, They would come back in.

And one of the final pieces, whether they had a successful night or like that night unsuccessful night is they would have to mend their equipment. And the reason why they would mend their equipment was because they intended to use it again, whether they were successful or unsuccessful and catching fish, their intent was to use the tools to go fishing again.

And that’s really what disciple-making is, is disciple-making and what Christ gave us. And disciple-making is just a tool, an avenue to Him. Whether we’re successful or unsuccessful and catching fish, we always need to be mending our tools. We always need to be equipping ourselves. So that, and this is the important part.

Not just learning more, not just hearing, not just listening, not just reading so that. We might apply it to our lives through disciple-making. So the end game is if you’re learning something and this is how I almost always end any meeting is what you learned. How are you going to, like, who are you going to teach that to?

How are you gonna apply that to your life? How are you going to take what you just learned and apply it inside of your life, into disciple-making in some way, shape or form? Because if all you’re doing is a, is, is taking these pieces in, I sit with a guy that I meet with. One of the things that he and I had this analogy of is the dead sea.

And, you know, you have to see of Galilee where all these guys were called and it’s beautiful, lush, amazing, incredible. Then have the Jordan river that flows and it takes this beautiful lush. Incredible, obviously this is a metaphor, but you take this down into the lowest point on earth and nothing is livable.

Like it’s an unlivable place in the dead sea. Well, what happened? What happened from all the nutrients where all the fish were, what happened? And what happened is, is that all of those good pieces don’t have a way out and you can have that same thing in your life where you have so many things that pour into you.

So many good things. You, you wrap yourself up and, and going into more small groups and going into more studies and going into more things. And you never have an avenue, or a source of that information getting out of you and all it happens is you become dead. You’re you’re not living it out as a disciple.

You’re not living what you’re learning. You’re just mending your nets to make them look pretty. You’re not actually mending your nets to go, go catch.

Josh Yates: Wow. Josh, you can keep going on this. I mean, I’m just like sitting the edge, listen to this because the word picture is so visceral from the sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea. But as well as do we really know how to apply what we already know? And I think that’s the root of the issue is and the ability to say, okay, I’m mending these tools, so that I might apply again and not just making more pretty nets. And yeah,

Josh Burt: Tools in a tool chest.

Josh Yates: yeah. More tools in the tool chest. And now I love, I love your heart, your passion around this. And if you were to kind of just summarize right now you know, to, to ministry leaders, is there anything else that you would say, Hey, if you had an opportunity to kind of. Can I give a five to 10 minute Ted talk, so to speak, what would you, what would you what would you say to even this intergenerational thing you’ve talked about, that you talked about this equipping piece, but I want to squeeze the sponge a little bit more, cause I know there’s more on there, Josh

Could you just, you know, you know, final thoughts here. 

Josh Burt: Yeah. Well, I would say. One of the things that that I’ve kind of noticed in, in ministry is a lot of people ask the same questions over and over and over again. And I don’t want to say that I have already said that relationship is a key to this, but one of the, one of the pieces that our senior pastor here and myself, which is my dad, but senior pastor myself, I decided to do, it’s going to start our own podcast and we’re calling it The Shop. And The Shop we’re just going to literally talk shop.

And so what we mean by that is like inside of a shop, you, you take things in there to build, you, take things in there to men, you take things in there to fix so that they would be used. Right. And so we’re going to talk shop on, what does it look like to take scripture and build this into your life?

Fix the things that need to be fixed and, and. Kind of equip the things that need to be equipped. And so we’re gonna, we’re gonna start a podcast called The Shop.

And I was like, so if I can give, and after all of that, if I could give you five to 10 minutes of summary of what discipleship looks like, it would be to surround yourself with like-minded people.

But not stay there. And I know that that was more like five seconds. Hold on. 

Josh Yates: was like, 

Josh Burt: Yeah. And the reason I say that is 

Josh Yates: Hmm. 

Josh Burt: Really when, when you’re looking at what it means to be a disciple maker, you already said it, man, it’s lonely. And without encouragement, you’re going to want to give up, you’re going to want to quit.

And, and you’re going to feel like all that you’ve done is just you watch one person burnout or one person make the wrong decision and you’re done. You don’t wanna do it anymore. 

Josh Yates: Yeah. 

Josh Burt: And so even if all you do is look over and see again, kind of that smirk of it’s worth it, surround yourself with people that pour into you so that you can go and pour out to others.

And if you don’t do that, all you’re doing is pouring yourself out and you’re gonna burn out. 

Josh Yates: No. 

Josh Burt: and one of the pieces, actually, I met with a guy this morning and we talked a little bit about this. I don’t wanna go for too much longer. I’m sorry. But one of the guys I met with him this morning and we talked a little bit about this.

And that is, you don’t expect someone past what they’re ready for. You got to remember where you were. If you don’t remember where you were, then you’re never going to remember what it means that this, this disciple making is an actual process. Like you got to mature, and if you don’t remember where you were, you’re going to have to set expectations that honestly, in the end nobody’s gonna live up to.

And the worst part is, is there your own expectations because they’re not the expectations of Christ. 

Josh Yates: Yeah. 

Josh Burt: And if you were to reread one of the most well-known verses it’s the proof of it’s right there. He came for the whole world. He didn’t just come for those, that would live up to your expectations. And so I think as disciple makers, we have to remember that we have to, that he came for the whole world that he flipped the world on its head.

He told guys that had expectations that they should stop having expectations. He, he told guys that who he came to save was all the people, right. He came with a kingdom mindset and that kingdom mindset was not for here. It’s not to make you more comfortable here, more healthy or wealthy or wise, or any of those pieces here.

Nothing was here. In fact, even in John, he goes one step further and even says, the world is going to hate you if you follow me. But don’t worry about it because it hated me first. Right. I’ve already conquered this world, so don’t worry about it. Don’t worry about it. It’s okay. Move on. And, and I guess if I could just summarize in summarize the summary, if you will it would be, I, you know, I never said it would be easy, but I did say it would be worth it.

Josh Yates: Wow, that right there, I think is enough to chew on a lot of things here, Josh. I really appreciate your wisdom, your passion, your insight, and just try and get into the heart of the matter of really bringing it back to, Hey, surround yourself with like-minded people. But, but don’t stay there and, and realizing the process.

That’s not making process that we need to think through. I think that in my own, even my own family and my own son or my own daughters and investing into them. Right. I smell, 

Josh Burt: Oh man. That’s that’s ministry. Number one, ministry. Number one is family. And that you have to, in fact, I can, I can remember one of the wisest things that was ever told to me was when I had two little girls, I now have two little disciple makers and man that if that doesn’t hit a dad, nothing will.

Josh Yates: Yeah, absolutely. So, Josh, how do we get connected to The Shop to Likewise Ministry or other things you’ve got going on? Are there, you know, if you’ve got other resources or tools or things, how do people stay connected to you and learn more about your ministry?

Josh Burt: So I’m a pastor out here at Grace Bible Church. We have, you can find me on our website. My email is Josh at grace Bible, columbia.org. I would love to hear from you guys. The Shop is actually we’re recording our first episode when I get back from Alabama. So we haven’t even recorded our first episode.

And if you can’t find The Shop email me, I would be happy to correspond. One of the things that I love doing is just corresponding with like-minded people and encouraging them not to stay with it.

Stay in that field. Go out, go, go and make disciples.

Josh Yates: Yeah. Well, thank you for your time, your friendship and continued conversation with you. This is not the, not the last is ongoing relationships. So thanks for yeah. Thanks for your time today. 

Josh Burt: oh man. My pleasure. Thank you guys so much


Wayne: Well, that was a great conversation with Josh Bert. And we just want to take a minute to remind you that we haven’t. Email address it’s podcast at Sonlife dot com. And we would love for you to just send us an email, let us know if there was something in this episode that encouraged you, or if there’s feedback that you have something we could do better, some way we could grow. We’d love to hear from you. Again, you can send us an email at podcast at Sonlife dot com. 

And one of my favorite takeaways from this conversation was being faithful because he was faithful. I know a couple of weeks ago I talked about, like leaving the results in God’s hand, after we interviewed Joshua Edwards.

And so maybe that’s just something that I need to hear again and again, that, that God calls us to be faithful. We’re not necessarily responsible for the results, but we’re responsible for our faithfulness to God and what he’s called us to. And we can be faithful because he was faithful.

Josh Yates: Yeah. He set that, that conversation up, I think really well when he talks about what it means to, to equip. The mending of our nets. And listening with the intent to, to apply. For me, that was really insightful kinda moment is, you know, it’s not making these perfect nets, but what we’re doing, where we’re amending them and being faithful to apply it again and again, and again, is that faithfulness and just trusting God for the results.

That was a great word of encouragement for myself and just the idea of mending and, and trusting God. And that listening with the intent to apply. 

Wayne: Yeah, that’s so good. So good. So thank you guys so much for listening to this episode and stay tuned for our disciple-making.

Disciple Making Moment:

Jay:  Well, Hey, my name is Jay fast. I’m Sonlife international ministries coordinator. And I’m really excited to be with you today to share a disciple-making moment with you. As I think about Jesus’ life and his strategy and his ministry, and there’s, there’s so much right. I mean, Jesus has just such a deep well that we can never dig to the depths of, of all of who he is and all of his ministry strategy by any stretch of the imagination.

So we’re trying to take off little bits and pieces, little chunks, one chunk at a time. And so today’s disciple-making moment is. I just want to think with you for a minute about, about the lens that we look through when we’re using resources in our ministry. There are a lot of good resources out there, right?

There are lots of good books. There are lots of great curriculums. There are lots of good video series or studies or DVDs or whatever. It might be YouTube clips, all sorts of different things. But when we use those things, the question that I think is, is maybe the most important question to ask is what is the lens that we’re using to filter what we’re seeing what we’re hearing, what we’re reading. 

Now obviously we want to use scripture as, as our, our key lens, but even within the context of scripture, I think it’s important for us. If we’re trying to be disciples and live as disciple makers, like Jesus lived as a disciple maker, it’s really important for us to look at those resources through the lens of Jesus disciple-making lifestyle and his disciple-making ministry.

And so. As I think about, for example, this, this past year my family and I watched a movie at Easter time and we always kind of have this tradition that we want to watch a feature film at Easter time, that kind of highlights Jesus’ life, his ministry the crucifixion and resurrection. And so when, when we look at that, one of the things that we want to just constantly be asking ourself is Are we filtering this through?

And what does it look like when we filter this through the lens of, of Jesus’ ministry? How accurate is this to the, to the gospel accounts? How how much does this this resource in this case, a video or a, or a movie or whatever it might be how accurately does this portray Jesus life? What are the things that this might be missing?

What are the things that this got right, and this got wrong and some of those kinds of things. And so my challenge to you. Is, is just the super simple idea that when you use a resource, when you share a resource with someone, when you recommend a resource to someone that you would be thinking about and encouraging them to think about filtering, whatever that resource is through the lens of Jesus’ life and ministry, the really simple fact is that nobody gets everything right.

Except of course for the scriptures, right. We know the scriptures are inerrant. The scriptures are accurate. The scriptures are, are perfectly preserved and well-written by the Father. And, and so we always want to take everything back to scripture. And specifically when we’re thinking about disciple-making, we want to go to the master disciple maker.

Who gave us the model and the strategy and that’s Jesus. So let’s use him as our filter. Let’s use his life and ministry as our filter for all the resources that we use and all the resources that we share with people in our community, in our, in our walks of life. .