Discipleship is one of those things that everyone in the church world talks about, yet it is very hard to narrow down and confine in exact tangible parameters. As I stated before, Jesus didn’t always take a person in and “follow-up and disciple” the way we often think is supposed to be done. One man, Jesus actually said “no” to when the request was made for discipleship.
The definition I gave yesterday: Discipling – command of God given to all believers to help those far from God move to a vibrant life with and in God
This is a non-negotiable. Everyone one of us as follower of Christ are commanded to go into all the world and make disciples. Regardless of the programs or methods one chooses to follow here, the point is simple and it is clear. Too many of us rely on programs to get this done and think it is the responsibility of the corporate church. It is not. It is my responsibility and yours. This is one of the works that James was talking about going along with an alive faith.
This doesn’t mean every one of us should be teaching a class or leading a group. It simply means we each should have someone that we are helping along in their spiritual journey. It is a real and dynamic relationship. It usually is not formal or all that structured. Life is raw and gritty, and our discipleship efforts will mirror the raw reality of daily existence. At least, they should.
It does not take a title in front or behind your name to engage in this. All that is required is an active and growing relationship with God and willingness to learn and share your journey with another.
Discipleship takes many forms and many times involves multiple people for each individual as they grow in their spiritual life. Each one of us should also be on the receiving end of this. There are those who are farther along in their spiritual journey that we need to be following their example and gleaning wisdom from their spiritual life.
I believe that God puts people in our lives on both sides of this that are the right ones at the right times.
Two last (for now anyway [smile]) thoughts on discipling:
- money is not a part of it
- the first line of responsibility for this belongs in the home when there are parents who follow Christ
In the next post we’ll look at mentoring and it’s unique aspects.
In the meantime, share some thoughts, questions, or experiences relating to discipleship…