What is discipleship and why does it matter?
When you hear the word "discipleship" you probably think about attending a church-led training class on Sunday nights. Now, sitting in a class lead by a Pastor is a good thing and can be used in the discipleship process, but the idea of biblical discipleship encompasses much more.
1. Discipleship is a process of growth -
Christ called His followers, "disciples"; a word that appears more than 250 times in Scripture.
Luke 14:27 - Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.
Those that follow Christ (believe in Him and have surrendered their lives to Him) are His disciples. Discipleship then, refers to the process of one's growth as a disciple of Jesus Christ. Basically, the process of a believer becoming more like the One that they believe in, Jesus Christ.
The process of becoming like Christ is a lifelong process. Discipleship is the growth process that flows from faith in Christ, which is fleshed out by increased trust, obedience, mimicry, and honor to the Lord. But the idea of discipleship still encompasses more.
2. Discipleship is the process of helping others -
As believers grow in spiritual maturity, then they also bear the responsibility of helping others grow in spiritual maturity as well.
Matthew 28:19 - "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations,"
Just like parents are tasked by God to train up their children to know and love God, so also are all believers tasked by God to train up other believers to know and love God.
Just like the first part of discipleship, this part is also a long process. Helping others grow spiritually is difficult and taxing work. But it is essential to the life of the church and the mission of God. When we look back in our own lives, we also find that it is essential to our own spiritual growth. None of us have made it to where we are spiritually without the help of others, and so we can see that we must reinvest that spiritual help toward others.
As we start 2023 at Hunter First, we are focusing on growing in discipleship. That means we will have important conversations throughout the year about what discipleship looks like in our lives and in our church, both the growing aspect and the helping others grow aspect. Would you be praying for God to use these conversations in our lives and our church in major ways?
Hebrews 10:24-25 - And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.