Displeship 101: Reasons for Discipleship
Discipleship is a process of teaching, mentoring, and training someone to know and obey Jesus according to the scriptures. More importantly, a disciple must be transformed by them and make disciples themselves who will continue the process of discipling.
Why do we need to disciple others?
Jesus modeled how to disciple. Discipleship is critical in spreading the Gospel. Through disciple-making, we learn apologetics that strengthens our faith and the faith of others.
Discipleship began in the Old Testament. For example, Moses mentored Joshua, Eli to Samuel; Elijah and Elisha; and Paul to Titus.
Three main reasons for Christian discipleship
1. Jesus’ mandate is to make disciples—not produce converts
- The great commission is a command (make disciples, go, baptize, and teaching them to observe) to the 12 apostles and disciples.
- Every believer is a disciple of Jesus and our goal is to train and teach them to know and follow Jesus.
- Conversion is the work of the Spirit of Truth, it is not our main objective. God works according to His timeline. (John 16:13–15)
- Conversion is the work of the Holy Spirit and salvation is only through faith in Jesus.
- For many, faith is a process they can pursue through discipleship.
- Before Paul became Christian, he was discipled by Gamaliel, a great teacher of Jewish law, to become a Rabbi. However, a disciple of Jesus doesn’t “graduate’ as a Rabbi does.
Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
2. We disciple to point people to Christ—not religion
- We point people to who Jesus is, not to a religion or religious personality.
- We point people to Christ because He is “the only” Way, Truth, and Life.
- We point disciples to follow and learn who Jesus is so they can also point others to Him through disciple-making.
2 Timothy 2:1–2
Timothy, my dear son, be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus. You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.
3. We can disciple believers or unbelievers
- When Jesus called the twelve, he began discipling them—even though regeneration may not have taken place yet.
- Our goal is to teach a disciple to know and obey Christ so they may know Biblical truths.
- Disciple-making is a process of bringing someone who has zero or some knowledge of Jesus—to knowing Him as the Messiah.
- Discipleship is a life-long pursuit therefore a teachable heart is essential regardless of our faith maturity.
And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!.”