What Is Christian Discipleship? Why Discipleship is Everyone's Job


"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."

Matthew 28:19-20

There are three words that don't belong in a church discipleship ministry: Not. My. Job. If there's anything that everyone can get involved with in church it's discipleship. When church members make the effort of getting involved in discipleship, not only does the church grow but so do the people who jump in.

What are some of the reasons why people don't want to get involved in discipleship? Some might beg off because they feel they aren't fit or qualified. Others might think that they just don't have the time. And then there are those that just don't think that discipleship helps.

Whatever the case, Jesus' case is clear in Matthew 28:19-20. Discipleship is everyone's job. Here are three main reasons why discipleship is everyone's job.

Jesus commands us all to go

There is a wrong notion that has Christians thinking that Matthew 28:19-20 is a mandate given only to the original disciples. But Paul's command in 2 Timothy 2:2 should convince us that it's not just one person's job but everyone's, "and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also."

What we hear from God through disciple-makers, we are to share to others as we make disciples of others as well. And when the Lord commands, the most appropriate response is obedience - not compromise.

Discipleship is the best expression of the great command

God's greatest command is to love Him and to love others as ourselves (Matthew 22:36-40). At the very core of discipleship is a fulfillment of this great command. Discipling others means walking with Jesus and helping others walk in and with Him as well. And as we walk with God and others, we allow love to happen throughout the journey.

Discipleship is relationship. Love is relationship. They are not two separate commands. They are the same thing.

Discipleship brings change

Another misconception is that discipleship really doesn't make a difference. But from Jesus' resurrection onwards that's not the pattern that we see. What established the early church was discipleship. What spread the gospel was discipleship. What made people grow was discipleship.

Discipleship can and will transform communities, cities, nations and even the whole world. We do it one person at a time, but when the gospel is propagated through relational discipleship, God's love spreads out like wildfire penetrating hearts and societies.

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