Disciple is basically a learner. We acknowledge our need of learning from others. It applies both to simple things like making a good coffee and to the complex task of learning to think, feel and act as a Christian. The most efficient way we learn is by teaching and helping others.
What is discipleship in our modern time?
The word “discipleship” can carry a lot of baggage for many people. Some have been taught that discipleship is what happens in a class for 3 months, but not a description of an ongoing way of living out your faith. And those that have no background in church, have likely only heard the word used in the context of weird cults and controlling religions.
In a purely Biblical sense discipleship is mentoring. But it’s a kind of mentoring that looks like a master and apprentice than an instructor and pupil. Biblical discipleship is personal, relational, and mostly informal in nature. Biblical discipleship boils down to the simple act of helping someone else move closer to Jesus.
It’s not about where we are in life, or about the process. It’s about the goal, and the goal is to be more like Jesus. This is just as true in a modern day evangelical church context as it was in the time of the early church.
On a foundational level, this is what the Christian life is about. We are all journeying on together, growing in our relationship with Christ, and as we do so we become more like Him. This ongoing sanctification is by no means a solo activity. God set this up to work in groups, and to fail in isolation. We are a group by nature. We are at our best when we are together.
Perhaps the greatest example of what discipleship looks like is found in the way Jesus mentored His disciples (and then commissioned them to do the same). He instructed them, He walked with them, He corrected them, He led by example, and then He empowered them to do it themselves.
This means that everyone is a disciple-maker. Everyone is a mentor. This is what a missionary is. A missionary is a disciple making disciple. Charles Spurgeon said that every Christian is either a missionary or an imposter. In other words, being involved in moving others closer to Jesus is what Christians do. There is no room for anything else.
Discipleship is in the core of LiFe seminar and everything we do comes out of it. We encourage Christians to accompany their friends helping them to experience Jesus, discover God's plan for their life and take the first steps in their faith.
What is the output of your life? How are you making disciples in your life? Next to your eternal destiny, there isn’t a more important question you could be asking.
Lead pastor of Grace Hills Church in Rogers, Arkansas
Remember that our big mission is to glorify God in all the earth, which starts with making one more disciple by introducing someone to Jesus, connecting them to His family, helping them grow in grace and knowledge, and enabling them to embrace their ministry to others and mission in the world.
Lead Pastor of Hillsong Israel, former principal of Hillsong International Leadership College
Discipleship has always been more than just a program and as we see in the life of Jesus, it is an invitation for people to “do life” with you.
Lead pastor of Thousand Hills International Church in the Netherlands, one of the leaders of ARC Nederland
Most of the Christian life is a process. Discipleship is a process. Becoming more and more like Jesus is a process.
Evangelist, pastor, founder of seven churches in Argentina and USA
Jesus didn’t say, “How would you like to go?” No. He commanded, and they did it. That is how disciples are made. Discipleship is more than getting to know what the teacher knows. It is getting to be what he is.
German pastor, theologian, anti-Nazi dissident, and key founding member of the Confessing Church
Christianity without loving Jesus Christ is essentially Christianity without the discipleship, and Christianity without dicsipleship is always Christianity without Jesus Christ, merely an idea, a myth.