WHAT IS DISCIPLESHIP?
WHAT IS DISCIPLESHIP?
"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." -Matthew 28:19-20
Discipleship is the commitment to learn from and follow Christ. Making disciples means helping others to do so as well. Be a mentor, a friend or a teacher to someone who wants to grow in their relationship with the Lord. Discipling others does not need to be a formal process, and it does not need to look a certain way. Some may focus on evangelism, reaching out to those who do not yet know the Lord. Others may be more gifted in the area of teaching, helping people at all levels of spiritual development to learn how to follow the Lord. Wherever your skills and gifts are, we can all participate in this calling by being intentional in how we do life with and love others. Invest in people. Be there for them, serve them and encourage them. Help them learn how to develop a deeper relationship with the Lord, while simultaneously growing in your relationship with Him.
John Piper's explanation of discipleship:
HOW CAN I GET STARTED?
You can get involved in Bible studies, small groups, and outreach programs through your church. If you do not have groups like these, consider offering to start and lead one. Once you get connected, pour into your brothers and sisters, using your gifts to help them grow closer to the Lord.
Join a Christian ministry group that teaches people how to grow as disciples and how to make disciples. You can check out their websites to find a local group:
The Navigators (https://www.navigators.org/)
They teach people to follow Jesus and make disciples, while doing life together in community. They are located at colleges, U.S. military bases, and in various countries.
Cadence International (https://www.cadence.org/)
They teach people to follow Jesus and do life together. They are located near U.S. military bases around the world.
They teach people to follow Jesus through one-on-one mentorship, at colleges, U.S. military bases, and in various countries.
START A SMALL GROUP
A small group is a group that meets together, usually in a home, for fellowship. They are often made up of people who go to church together, but you could also invite friends, family members, neighbors and coworkers. Small groups are more than a Bible study. They are a community that does life together. Small groups usually meet once a week to go through a Bible study, book, or video/sermon series, and then they additionally meet up for fellowship. They eat meals together, help one another, hold one another accountable, and plan events together (like game nights, movie nights and outreach BBQs).
RightNow Media (https://www.rightnowmedia.org)
RightNow Media has a good repository of small group studies. Some good studies to start with are True Spirituality by Chip Ingram and Crazy Love by Francis Chan. They have videos that you can watch and workbooks with questions for group discussion.
Ask God to send you one or two people to invest in. Meet up with them for coffee or go out and do activities where you can talk. Spend time with them, listen to them, pray with them and help them grow spiritually. Teach them how to apply biblical teaching to their daily lives. Ask them how you can help them and support them in growing closer to the Lord. Here are a few good questions that you could ask during your discussions:
1) How is your relationship with God?
2) What has God been teaching you lately?
3) How are you doing spiritually?
4) In what areas would you like to grow more spiritually?
If you decide to teach someone on your own, it is helpful to have your own mentor, who you can seek counsel from and pray with. Your mentors and spiritual leaders might also have suggestions of good studies or ways to teach certain principles.
One of the most important aspects of one-on-one discipleship, that differentiates it from a regular Bible study, is building the relationship. When you are available for someone, and go out of your way to be there for them, it shows them an uncommon level of love that helps them know and understand the love of Jesus at a deeper level. Many people will teach someone about the Bible in a church, but not many people will open up their own homes and schedules to welcome them into their family. Don't just tell people about His love, show it to them in how you care for them, support them and encourage them.