What is Discipleship?
What is Discipleship?
Discipleship is teaching biblical precepts, while modeling and guiding others toward living righteously as followers of Jesus Christ. This should be a cyclical process—meaning once we are discipled, we are to disciple others, and so on. One of the most important characteristics of being a disciple (a student or pupil), is to develop an intimate relationship with God through Christ rather than just learning about Him. Discipleship equips the Christian with God’s Word, prayer, doctrine, worship, encouragement, and service.
In addition, discipleship training is also about relationship with others. Relationships are developed through devotions, care, and by encouraging each other toward living with Christ-like characteristics in our everyday lives. Very often the best teachers share from experience and testimonies of their own journeys. Telling others what following Christ has done for one personally, can have great impact on those who are yearning for the same kind of transformation in their lives. This is a vital part of discipleship.
What is Discipleship? What are Some Aspects of Discipleship?
First, we must realize that discipleship is an ongoing process. We should never quit learning and growing in our walk with Christ. Just as the New Testament disciples who chose to follow Jesus, we too should continually learn and grow stronger in our personal relationship with Him. Do you desire to lead and disciple others along the way with all that you have already learned and experienced?
Part of the process includes:
- Transformation and repentance, making God your priority (Mark 8:34-38)
- Learning the written word of God and living by it with commitment (John 8:31-32)
- Loving, edifying, and serving others as God leads (1 John 3:11-16)
- Focusing on living righteously, being fruitful (John 15:7-10, Galatians 5:22)
- Accountability with godly authority (Hebrews 13:17)
- Evangelism (sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ) (Matthew 28:18-20)
- Being changed by renewing your mind (Romans 12:2)
- Worshipping God in all you do (Romans 12:1)
- Serving God toward His purpose (Romans 1:9)
- Demonstrating to the world the Power given us by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:7-11; 2 Peter 1:3-8)
Discipleship training takes commitment, vision, and understanding the Scriptures. In reading the words of Jesus (Matthew 28:18-20), we see that discipleship is not just an option for believers. “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’”
This is the mission and purpose of the Church. We are to equip and grow disciples who in turn go out to equip and disciple others. Unfortunately, many churches today have neglected this mandate.
That need not dissuade us though as individuals. To paraphrase Luke 12:48, it says that to whom much is given, much is required. In other words, those who have received the knowledge of salvation through Jesus are required to share it with others. This is how we add souls to the Kingdom of God. We must be obedient and move from “just playing church to really being a church.” Peter tells us to be humble toward others so that we can know the grace of God. We are to humble ourselves to God as well. Humbleness is a vital part of the discipleship all believers are to pursue with love and obedience.
Finally, when we exhibit a joy-filled, love-filled heart with the excitement of a better life and promise of eternity with Christ, how can we help but to want to share it with the world? “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:17). Now as much as any time in history, we and our morally, spiritually declining world are in need of repentance, transformation, and becoming equipped for a better life.
Proverbs 23:12 says, “Apply your heart to instruction and your ears to words of knowledge.”
What is your response?
Yes, today I am deciding to follow Jesus
Yes, I am already a follower of Jesus
I still have questions