Discipleship 101

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   It is an essential ministry that too many Christians and churches overlook or minimize.  It is far more than membership and assimilation. In modern times, it is far too often the “great omission.”

   We are talking about the Great Commission work to “making disciples” (Matthew 28:19a).  This was a final instruction of Christ to His select disciples before He ascended back to heaven. Every Christian is meant to be a disciple; but in today’s church, not every Christian is a disciple.

   So we begin with a clarifying definition for what it means to be a “disciple.”  A “disciple” is “a passionate follower who knows Christ, grows in Christ, and shows Christ in their daily lives.” 

   This is a dynamic, progressive position.  It is not intended to be one of comfort, but rather, one of conviction. Jesus made this clear: “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” (Luke 9:23).

   A disciple places his life on the line for Christ (as did the first disciples). This is a life response to Christ’s sacrifice on their behalf.

   So what are the main benchmarks of a true disciple? The following are evident in this follower’s life:

• Daily Bible study with personal life application.

• Proclamation of Christ wherever possible.

• Compassionate service to others.

   All of this is done in love — the main character quality of a disciple.  Jesus also made this clear in this timeless “new command” — “A new command I give you: Love one another...By this all men will know you are My disciples if you love one another.” (John 13:34 & 35).

   It was Jesus’ plan that His disciples would make a radical difference in His church…and in the world. That plan and intended impact has not changed.  So with courage and commitment we go forth!

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