What is Discipleship?

by Chad Melton in Blog

Discipleship! This is a term that has been thrown around in our culture a lot over the past couple of years. And is a term that will be talked about throughout churches for a long time to come – I hope. But I think one of the problems with discipleship in America is we have the wrong idea of what it is. Discipleship is not Sunday school, it’s not a book, it’s not an app, and it’s not even just meeting one on one with someone. Sometimes we even confuse discipleship with knowledge. Discipleship is simply the process of becoming a disciple. And hopefully we use all of the previously mentioned things to help in the process of discipling someone. But those things are not a means to an end by themselves.

So what does it really mean to be a disciple of Christ? I have heard numerous definitions over the course of my life, but there’s one that’s very simple that I like. It is simply, “to be like Christ.” I think to really understand what it means to be a disciple you have to look at the Greek word that Jesus used throughout the New Testament. In Luke 14 where Jesus says you must do all of these things or you cannot be my disciple he uses the word mathētēs. The Strong’s definition to this word is “pupil, student, one tutored, implying a closer relationship than mere information.” So if we are going to be a pupil of Christ, we have to look at what Christ did, said, and acted. We should observe how the apostles talked about the life of Jesus. We should try to soak up everything we can about Jesus so we can try to pattern our life after him too.

Many times we think of discipleship as just helping a Christian know more and we forget about reaching lost people. But Christ came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). Often we think being busy is the best thing so we don’t waste any time, but there were times where Jesus retreated from the people and spent time in prayer (Luke 5:16). Jesus touched the lepers, talked to the outcast (John 4), hung out with, “those people” (Mark 2), and even opposed the proud religious people (Matthew 23).

So what’s my point? Discipleship is so much more than coming to church, reading the Bible, or going through a program. Discipleship is a process of someone becoming Christ like. When your mind starts to transform to be more like Christ you find yourself caring for your lost friends, loving the people in your church, desiring to want to read the Bible, and wanting to spend more time with God. I hope you really take a look at what it means to be a disciple, a mathētēs, of Jesus. Learn everything you can about him and as you do let the Spirit transform your heart to become more like Jesus’. There are many tools that can help with the process of discipleship and I encourage you to use as many as you can. But ultimately it’s about us simply striving to become like Jesus.

Loading Facebook Comments ...