The Importance of Discipleship
There is such great value in sharing our lives intentionally with each other…God’s story is known more fully. Nothing better. Jessica points us to the best example of discipling we can get.
But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine…For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you. Titus 2:1, 11-15
I am awfully passionate about discipleship. I am blessed to have been discipled by incredibly godly women and to spend time with girls just a bit younger than me.
In an article with The Gospel Coalition, Pastor John Starke defines disciples as “not merely learners but fruit-bearing disciple-makers.” He suggests that true disciples, “multiply themselves.” What we know from scripture is that Christ considered discipleship an important part of a life of faith.
I’m convinced of a few specific reasons discipleship should be a part of our lives.
1. Discipleship is a command to the believer.
In Matthew 28 Christ commissions His people to make disciples. His own ministry was fashioned around twelve disciples, three in which he made a particularly intentional investment. In Titus 2 God challenges us to live in light of what is to come. We await our blessed hope. If we believe the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, it makes sense that there should be a deep desire to intentionally invest in others toward this truth.
2. Discipleship doesn’t have to be difficult.
Very few of the relationships in which I’ve been discipled were officially labeled as “discipleship.” We didn’t meet for coffee on a regular basis or walk through a specific book of the Bible together. Most of the significant discipleship relationships I’ve had are women who lead me by inviting me into their lives. They ask me to run to the grocery store with them or sit on their couch while they prepare dinner for their family. Being in their world and watching them parent their children has taught me what it looks like to do life as a Jesus follower. Through their day to day walk with Christ, they teach me how God is at work and what He is currently working out in them.
3. Discipleship breeds accountability and growth.
I am never so challenged in my faith than when I have to speak what God is teaching me. As I sit with a college-aged girl and share just exactly how God is at work in my life, I’m humbled. It’s in these life lessons articulated that I’m forced to recognize our God’s faithfulness. I begin to see scripture unfold before me through my story. Because we were made for it, discipleship sharpens us. As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. Proverbs 17:17
Will you look for a man or woman just ahead of you and just behind you? Would you be willing to intentionally invite these folks into your story? Through this, I’m convinced, God will be made famous.
- Who disciples you?
- What is this person teaching you about Jesus right now?
- Is there anyone younger than you with whom you could practice discipleship?