Discipleship is a huge buzzword in the church today. Maybe it’s been this way for years but to me, it seems like I’m always hearing about it. The frustrating thing for me is to see people who don’t know what it is, proclaiming random stuff as gospel.
We have to remember as Christians our goal is to know God and to make him known. Other people should know us by the love of Christ that reigns in us. If we don’t have that, we shouldn’t ever be dispelling people. In Fact, James 3:1 states that leaders will be judged more harshly.
What Discipleship is, and what it is not isn’t really up for debate, it’s walking with Jesus and showing someone else how to do that as well. If you stumble, get up, acknowledge the failure, and continue on.
Real discipleship should be transformative, and it should never be forced.
Below is a list I’ll constantly update as things pop into my mind.
Discipling Is Not:
Being On Staff At A Church
Saying A Couple of Hail Marys
Doing Anything Religious.
Obeying Your Pastor With Strict Reverance
I’ll keep updating the list and feel free to add any other options you might have in the comments below.
In the church, we have a mentality that membership is discipleship, and that’s a dangerous place to be. just because you’re a member doesn’t mean you’ve given yourself over to the teachings of Jesus.
People are imperfect, and we tend to make stupid decisions, there is a huge difference between someone who’s given their life to Jesus and a disciple of Jesus.
It’s the difference between a newborn and an adult.
What Is The Meaning Of Discipleship?
The true meaning of discipleship is following and doing. It’s more along the lines of a mentor/mentee relationship.
So What Is The Meaning Of Discipleship In the Bible?
Real discipleship from the biblical perspective is seen in the gospels—the story of Jesus training his 12 disciples and helping them understand why he came. Paul disciples many different people in the new testament as well.
We also see their fruit. Eventually, their work translates into a group of people that ultimately went and transformed the world.
They teach them, provide for them, and even discipline them. Jesus is teaching them about the love of God, and showing them why he came. Then he sends them out, so they can do what he’s called them to do.
This is the essence of discipleship.
Get to know the people around you. Get deep on a personal level, but try not to be weird about stuff. Help them in their life, and direct them towards solid Godly choices. This is a major truth you’ll see in the gospels. To disciple properly, you never have to force or coerce, it should be a choice to follow.
That’s how they learned who Jesus was, and that knowledge changed them. It made their hearts fertile ground that the Holy Spirit would later utilize giving them power. Combined with their willing hearts, they committed their lives to spread the gospel.
This is how the name of Jesus spread across the world, and it’s why Jesus is the way. There’s power in his name.
Is There A Difference Between Salvation And Discipleship?
There is actually a huge difference between the two of them. Salvation is a good thing we all need salvation, but not everybody is a disciple. When you give your life to Jesus and decide to live for him, there’s a continual choice that must make. That choice is daily, hourly, and sometimes by the minute. It’s a decision to follow Jesus through the thick and thin of life.
In the modern church, once you go down to the front and say a prayer with the pastor, you’re considered saved. You have received salvation, and I’m not contradicting that AT ALL!!! However, it takes so much more to be a disciple of Jesus.
Jesus himself said in the great commission that we should go into the world and preach the gospel. Making disciples of every nation. He didn’t say converts, he said disciples. That is where the difference is.
A convert has made the choice, while a disciple has given all.
What Is Modern Day Discipleship?
In the modern world disciples of christ face some tough issues. I’ll never say they’re tougher than the past, because I didn’t live then, and I believe Jesus placed me here in this time, for a particular purpose.
In this modern day, discipline can take some difficult turns due to focus, or lack thereof. Many distractions are in our lives, so there has to be a distinct hunger and desire to disciple and be disciplined.
That being said it’s easier many times to just get to know others. Find other people in your life that believe the same way, and help them grow in that. One of the reasons I got heavily into snowboarding was to be a light in the dark. While I love to snowboard, I also understand that industry needs Jesus, and without him what’s the point?
Discipleship Should Never Be Indoctrination
Disciples need to choose to follow, you can’t force them. I’ve been part of ministries that I had to run from in the past due to some really creepy individuals. If you find yourself under the tutelage of someone who isn’t what you thought. It might be time to go.
Remember to always be safe, and don’t believe what they say unless you can confirm it biblically. Hearing the voice of God is key in these circumstances. I’ve been a part of countless ministries over the years, and sometimes you just need to leave.
Discipleship is getting closer to God, and letting go of the world, when you choose to be a disciple, you’re getting serious with your faith. Belief in Jesus cannot be just a Sunday thing, it’s a life thing.
If you’re looking to become a better follower of Jesus, find a church that teaches the Bible, and more importantly, get connected there. Knowing who you’re in a church with, can help bring you to the next level of freedom.
I wish you all the best, Don’t forget to comment and subscribe below. Let me know what you think, and what your thoughts are. Hopefully, I articulated this correctly as well.
Sterling grew up in the suburbs of Minneapolis. As a kid he loved skateboarding but mostly did street riding. He injured his ankle badly when he dropped into his first half pipe. His skateboarding slowed down after that, but he still loved the sport. While in his 20's he needed to make a change, so he did some world traveling with a motivational speaking group. Through it all, he visited 46 states and 3 continents and eventually lived in Mississippi. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina tore through the state. He jumped into the fray, helping mobilize support for the evacuees of New Orleans & The Gulf Coast. During the aftermath he helped run a shelter and drove food & medical supplies to affected areas by truck. Currently he lives in Minneapolis, runs his snowboard shop, and shreds Vail Whenever he can.