If someone comes and tells you, “I am a disciple of the Lord Jesus. Teach me to observe all that the Lord has commanded; make me into a disciple and into a maker of disciples,” what do you do?
It is presumed that he has fulfilled the Lord’s conditions before coming to you. The first thing is to give the person your own conditions. Normally, the first of those conditions should be loyalty.
The person who will take your personal issues and go to discuss them with others is disqualified. The person in whose presence others will freely talk about you negatively is disqualified. If he were loyal, he would command them to keep quiet. The person who has gathered bad things from left and right concerning you is disqualified. If he is able to gather bad things against you, it is because he loves to hear such things. He somewhat enjoys tearing you down. In a crisis moment, such a person will give you over to the enemy.
The person who will take another step when you have commanded “Stop”, is disqualified. He cannot be your disciple. The step or steps taken after you have asked him or her to stop amount to saying that he or she is better than you and knows more than you do. It also means that your counselling has no value. Why should you continue to give it?
Actually, there should be some time of testing. It may be good to initially take someone as a disciple on trial. You make him know that he is on trial. If he proves worthy, fine. If he is his own boss it cannot work. This is not to be understood that the disciple-maker is there to crush the disciple. He dares not do that because God will crush him too.
God never fights with a person to the point of crushing him. He told Balaam, “You shall not go with them; you shall not curse the people, for they are blessed” (Numbers 22:12). But Balaam wanted to go. So God told him, “If the men have come to call you, rise, go with them” (Numbers 22:20). God now gave him instructions along the pathway of disaster. It is imperative that you let your disciples know what you want and what you do not want.
You should be the kind of man whose mind is clear to those around him. It should be that your disciple knows what you think. If he rejects it, he can have his own way. But he also ceases to be your disciple. I do not mean that the first time a person throws your counsel or decision away, he should be thrown out too. But if it happens two, three, four, five times, then it is characteristic of the person.
Someone who despises you cannot be your disciple. The person who wants to bring you back to size, because he thinks that you are too high, cannot be your disciple.
No one should come to be discipled because he is interested in the disciple-maker as a person. He should come because he or she wants to be made into a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ by the human disciple-maker.
Finally, the Lord had people who were specially close to Him in a personal way. But the disciples were a matter of the Kingdom. Therefore, do not reject somebody because he does not have the kind of nose you love. It is not a matter of personal inclinations in the physical. It is a matter of the Kingdom.