Discipleship – What Is It?
What is discipleship?
Discipleship is not only teaching biblical precepts and principles, but at the same time modeling these in our lives and guiding others toward living righteously as followers of Jesus Christ. This should be a cyclical process — meaning once we are discipled, we are to disciple others, and so on.
One of the most important characteristics of being a disciple (a student or pupil), is to develop an intimate relationship with God through Christ rather than just learning about Him. Discipleship equips the Christian in understanding right doctrine through God’s Word for a life of worship, prayer, encouragement, service, and so much more.
In addition, discipleship training is also about relationships with others. This is the mission and purpose of the Church. We are to equip and grow disciples who in turn go out to equip and disciple others.
Discipleship is the lifelong process of believing in Jesus Christ and loving and following Him in obedience to his Word, the Bible.
By definition, a disciple is a follower, one who accepts, and assists in spreading, the teachings of a teacher, leader, or philosopher.
A Christian disciple is a person who accepts and assists in spreading the good news of Jesus Christ. Christian discipleship is the process by which disciples grow in the Lord Jesus Christ and are equipped by the Holy Spirit, who resides in our hearts, to overcome the pressures and trials of this present life and become more and more Christlike. This process requires believers to respond to the Holy Spirit’s prompting to examine their thoughts, words and actions and compare them with the Word of God.
This requires that we be in the Word daily — studying it, praying over it, and obeying it. In addition, we should always be ready to give testimony of the reason for the hope that is within us (1 Peter 3:15) and to disciple others to walk in His way.
Proper personal discipleship should result in training others who will in turn train others, who will likewise train others – a continuing process that results in multiplied changed lives.