What Is Discipleship? (Part 2)
Have you ever thought about discipleship and what it means? What it means for you, defines how you live.
Discipleship can improve every aspect of your life when you practice it well, allowing you to walk in your true identity as sons and daughters of God.
The Greek word for discipleship is mathēteuō (pronounced math-ayt-yoo’-o) and literally means to make disciples. The word is used in the context of to be a disciple of one, to follow His precepts and instruction, to make a disciple, to teach, to instruct.
In our Previous Blog, “What is Discipleship? (Part 1)” we started unpacking what Christian discipleship looks like.
Discipleship is a process; it is a journey. Jesus’ calling of the first disciples, as recorded in the Gospel accounts, gives us a vivid picture of how ordinary fisherman were transformed into fishers of men.
In Matthew 4-18-20, Jesus’ call to those first disciples was to come and “follow Me”. A simple call with incredible obligations. To follow Jesus meant to be His disciple, to accept Him as their Master, to accept Him as their Teacher and to walk the same path of life that He would.
Jesus call to discipleship hasn’t changed and still requires a surrendering of our agenda to His, an acceptance to follow His ways rather than ours, a complete obedience to the word of God, a daily pursuit of Christ and attentiveness to the leadings of the Holy Spirit.
Discipleship is a returning to the basics of what it means to be a Christian and follower of Christ. Learning how to be a disciple ourselves is the foundation of us understanding discipleship. To model being a disciple in our own lives lays the foundation for us to be able to help others in their discipleship journey.
Discipleship is a crucial and necessary part of our growth as Christians. Discipleship works best when we commit to the Lordship of Christ giving Jesus full ownership of what is rightfully his.
But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is, the word [the message, the basis] of faith which we preach— because if you acknowledge and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord [recognizing His power, authority, and majesty as God], and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart a person believes [in Christ as Savior] resulting in his justification [that is, being made righteous—being freed of the guilt of sin and made acceptable to God]; and with the mouth he acknowledges and confesses [his faith openly], resulting in and confirming [his] salvation.
– Romans 10:8-10
Romans 10:9, is often used as the foundational scripture of what it means to commit to Jesus. But what does it means to confess that Jesus is Lord?
The following examples are just a few ways we can walk out our discipleship journey well
It Is an Active Mission
Discipleship should not be seen as something passive, but it is an active process. It cannot be forced, but it is something that one has to pursue. At the same time, discipleship is a natural process. If a person is truly and fully converted, then, like a child, they will grow into their belief and become more committed to their faith and desire to share that faith.
Yet, many people are in the Christian Faith who are not considered disciples. They are not actively involved or engaged in doing something for the Lord. Christ is not the center of their daily lives, nor is he their focus. They live for themselves and their desires. They are self-focused, self-indulgent, and self-centred. They are devoted to their desires and cannot see the need to give up that devotion to become a follower of Christ.
Those who desire to be disciples must learn to be committed to God and His purpose. They must understand that it is their job to spread the word of God and to help others to understand what it means to be a Christian.
Carrying Out His Work
There are many ways in which a person can be a disciple. Some have chosen to pursue the ministry and are spreading the word to others; others are working as leaders in the church, recruiting and training new members to help strengthen the church and creating a strong foundation for the future. Some have a desire to teach but do not have the opportunity to do so, so they search for other areas where they can make a difference. Some devote themselves to helping others, in whatever capacity they are allowed to do so, and they serve that role faithfully and diligently.
To be a disciple is to be truly devoted to Christ and his word. It is a life-long process that is necessary for all Christians. It is a commitment. It is a devotion. A disciple is constantly striving to be better, serve Christ more and in whatever capacity they are called, and they can do so.
The Christian Faith is a journey of discovery. Each believer must be willing to search for the truth of the Word and learn and grow from that truth. It is about finding out who Christ is and how he and his word can shape their lives. It is about learning how to serve God so that one can truly and fully devote themselves to spreading the word of God and helping others to find the joy and peace that comes from the source. It is about learning how to share the word so that others can understand.
Discipleship is a key part of being a Christian. It is a necessary element of serving God and reaching out to others. It is a process of learning, growing, and living. It is a journey, a life-long journey. Indeed, each follower must commit to being a follower of Christ, not just in word but in action.
It is about becoming something more, something better, something more dedicated and devoted.
If you would like to learn more about disciple training, look no further than our programs here at Global Disciples Canada. We are a Christian mission organization that trains local leaders living near least-reached communities to multiply disciples for Christ. Feel free to reach out to us for more information about our discipleship training and other related topics.
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