Discipleship

Be a follower of Christ-Make followers of Christ.

 Equivalent terms:

  • Follower, student, pupil, trainee.
  • Be an example of a true Christ-follower.
  • Teach members to follow Jesus and become more like Jesus.
  • Produce a Christlike character in all members.

 Short Definitions:

“Discipleship means the lifelong process of spontaneous and intentional learning, training, growth and development during which the believer, through the working of the Holy Spirit, increasingly and authentically demonstrates more and more of Jesus Christ in his/her life.”

“A personal follower of Jesus Christ during his/her life.”

Key Scriptures:

  • Mathew 28:19
  • 1 Cor. 11:1
  • Gal. 4:19
  • Acts 1:8
  • 2 Cor 3:18
  • Gal. 5:22

Discipleship is inextricably linked to the Great Commission and therefore of great importance as strategic focus in our One AFM Game Plan. Let the words of Jesus again resonate in our ears: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…” (Math. 28:19) The Great Commission goes further than preaching the Gospel and making converts. Those converts must be discipled. If not, we have not properly given execution to Jesus’s commission.

Being a true missional church presupposes true disciples, just as church-members who are true disciples implicates a missional church. There cannot be one without the other.

One has to be a disciple yourself to make disciples. (1 Cor. 11:1) This implies that one has accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour. There are many who admire Jesus as the supreme example and noblest expression of perfect humanity (eg. Mohandas Ghanddi), but you can only become a disciple of Jesus if He has become your Saviour/Redeemer. Discipling begins with redemption.

The essence of discipling is to internalise the character and mind of Christ, in other words, to spontaneously portray more and more of Him – more of His love, His life and His power. (Gal. 4:19)

Discipleship implies empowerment. It is also the reason why new converts desperately need to be baptised in the Holy Spirit. (Acts 1:8) A Spirit-controlled life spontaneously produces Christlike qualities. (2 Cor. 3:18) That is part of the fruit of the Spirit. (Gal. 5:22)

Our failure to produce true disciples of Christ, may be the one major shortcoming of the church and is likely the reason why our country have such unacceptable levels of social, sexual and personal evils and injustices – in spite of such a high percentage of Christians. There are many nominal Christians but much fewer disciples of Christ.

The church and its ministries cannot save people – only God can do that. We are however commissioned by God to produce disciples, personal followers of Christ and lead them to maturity. (Ephesians 4:12). This happens through preaching and teaching, through the exemplary lives of leaders, through mentoring and coaching which takes place in the context of true and genuine relationships. Producing true disciples of Jesus is a major challenge – from our smallest assemblies to our mega-churches.

 DISCIPLESHIP

 

Leave a Reply