At New Life, we want to make disciples who make disciples. I get excited about that statement and I think everyone at NL is on board. The problem however is how do we accomplish this goal? That question can be difficult to answer. I want to bring some clarity to the Biblical role of discipleship. It is essential to understand that discipleship begins at baptism and never ends. Hopefully this post will help answer questions and provide practical examples. Discipleship is the continual pursuit of bringing every aspect of life under His lordship. Here is a good definition I want to introduce that is based on the example of Jesus throughout the gospels:
Biblical discipleship is initiating a relationship where you help someone follow Jesus through teaching, correcting, modeling, and serving. Here are two things to remember about discipleship.
DISCIPLES MAKE DISCIPLES
The Bible provides a model where the elders of the church disciple members of the church through preaching and teaching God’s word and living as examples to the congregation (1 Pet 5:3). They disciple members so that those members can disciple others. Church leaders have the responsibility to equip the saints for the work of ministry” (Eph 4:12). All members of the church are called to disciple others and help fulfill the Great Commission (Matt 28:18-20). All of us must be discipled by others and be discipling others. You can begin the process of discipling others by:
• Make an evangelism list of people you would like to see come to faith in Christ • Make a dgroup list of people you would like to see in a dgroup.
• Spend time regularly praying for the two list
When we think of discipleship it is important to remember that all Christians are disciples. This ministry requires all hands on deck! All believers at New Life should invest their time in discipleship.
DISCIPLING REQUIRES INITIATIVE
In a healthy church there will be a culture of discipleship that happens organically among members of the church. Members of the congregation become intentional about discipling others as part of our own discipleship with Christ. I believe that healthy discipleship takes place in groups of 3-4 people. Nevertheless someone needs to take the lead and initiate the relationships. Be intentional to cultivate a group where teaching, correcting, modeling, and serving can take place. This involves spending time together in both formal and informal settings. Take the lead in setting a time, place, and plan for regular, scheduled meetings as well as scheduling time to rest and relax together, or catch up as friends.
Have regular weekly meetings where you:
Discipleship also involves
Discipling is a way of intentionally living with others for common growth in Christ. It’s essential that you intentionally invite others into your life for the purpose of discipleship. Jesus provides a model of discipleship. Jesus taught the Bible to his disciples, and he had meals with them. He spent time with his disciples and they shared common ministry. At New Life my prayer is that we love and serve people for the purpose of discipleship.
Our Pastor writes most of the blog posts we publish, however, occasionally some of our other church leadership (some staff, some volunteer) who also contribute to the New Life blog.