It’s impossible to “go, make disciples” unless you understand what a “disciple” is. What, exactly, are we in the business of making?
A disciple is not a student, mentee, or fan club member. In contrast to these following-type relationships, the measure of a disciple is derived more from their relationship with Jesus than their relationship to the discipler.
We use a 3-part definition for a disciple, taken from the original call to the first disciples: “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matt. 4:19) From this, we see that:
1. Disciples FOLLOW Jesus (“Follow Me…”)
2. Disciples are TRANSFORMED BY Jesus (“I will make you…”)
3. Disciples LIVE LIKE Jesus (“fishers of men…”)
Someone who follows Jesus is not necessarily transformed by Jesus. And someone who is transformed by Jesus does not necessarily live it out. Could it be that many of our churches are filled with following or transformed believers who aren’t living it out? Would that explain why our nations are not more changed by the love of Christ?
The assignment of every believer is to go make disciples — to reproduce people who follow Jesus, are transformed by Him, and live like Jesus in the community around them.
How do you define discipling?
See more discipling thoughts on the Facebook page “This is Discipling”: http://www.facebook.com/pages/This-Is-Discipling/349505195079740