What is Discipleship?

Discipleship is key

My ministry has been moving lately toward more of a discipleship focus. That is not to say that I am moving away from apologetics. The type of apologetics I am interested in is really a subset of discipleship. I have more of a desire to create confident Christians than to find atheists to debate.

But what is discipleship?

Most Christians would acknowledge that discipleship is important but there is a lack of definition. Discipleship becomes a nebulous concept that somehow marks spiritual maturity.

Discipleship at its basic root is about being a student. Within Judaism, rabbis would gather disciples to whom they would pass on their wisdom.

Discipleship in the Bible

Disciples
Metropolitan Museum of Art

Discipleship begins in the Bible with Jesus gathering followers. This was not just about the twelve. There were many more disciples of Jesus, with the twelve being a smaller group within the larger. What we should notice is that there were different levels of relationship with Jesus. There was the big group, the more intimate group of the twelve and the inner circle of Peter, James and John.

But there is another aspect of Christian discipleship. As much as the Apostle Paul made disciples of Jesus, he did this by making people his disciples. People like Timothy and Titus were disciples of Paul as John and James were disciples of Jesus. The difference is that by becoming disciples of Paul, Timothy and Titus became disciples of Jesus. This is very important.

What does this mean for discipleship?

For too long, churches have seen discipleship as a passive activity. Give new believers a Bible, give them opportunities to pray and worship and discipleship will just happen. There is nothing like that in the Bible. Discipleship is meant to be active. For a new believer to become a disciples of Jesus, a current disciple of Jesus needs to invest in that discipleship.

I believe that you want to see more disciples of Jesus. But will you let people be your disciples?

My goal for this blog is not to create a discipleship program. People do not get discipled by programs, they get discipled by people. What I will attempt to do in this blog is to provide resources for people to become more active in Christian discipleship.

 

One aspect of Christian discipleship is teaching people the Bible. This is a resource that I created for that purpose.

Genesis to Revelation

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