Jesus used practical object lessons
Jesus didn't pick the smartest, the coolest, or the most likely to succeed to be his disciples--he went straight to the bottom of the barrel and picked the fisherman, and he taught them in very practical ways. He brought them almost everywhere he went and taught them along the way.
Jesus would pick up a loaf of bread and use it as an example of our dependance on God. He would use his signs and miracles as a way of showing that he has power over death and the effects of sin by raising Lazarus and giving sight to the blind man. He uses his own service of washing their feet as a way to show that they must serve, and even feeds five thousand people to show that even though he is one man, his work can feed the many.
We can't use the same type of object lessons that Jesus did because we aren't the Messiah, but we can follow Jesus' example by using metaphor, speaking in plain English, and creating circumstances that allow us to teach our disciples.
This is a series of reflections on how Jesus made disciples, based on the book of John.