WHAT DOES DISCIPLESHIP LOOK LIKE?
Discipleship is about intentionally meeting with others to help them love and follow Jesus more deeply (1 Cor. 11:1). So this looks like:
- Not just being passionate about God, but spreading a passion for God
- Not just being in God’s word, but helping others get into his word
- Not just being in community, but inviting others to belong in community
- Not just serving others, but bringing others along with you to serve
Find someone to meet with – You can start by looking around in your Community Group, ministry team, or others at church, and asking God to lead you to someone to form a D-group with. Invite someone to coffee or lunch and ask if they are interested in meeting with you for discipleship.
Make a plan for your meetings – Decide when you will meet, and how you will spend your time together. Sometimes it helps to have a guide, so if you're starting a new discipleship relationship you can try using our 8-week Created for a Purpose material (download). For reference, there are also some sermons that go along with this material (listen). When we meet with someone for discipleship, our goal is to help them love and follow Jesus more deeply, so the core practices we want to focus on are:
- Sharing about how you’re doing spiritually
- Reading and studying God’s word together
- Confessing sin and praying for each other
- Challenging each other to live on mission
You should practice these things in the context of a genuine friendship with one another as you invest in each other’s lives over time. Of course you can always do more than this, but you shouldn't be doing less; these discipleship practices are foundational to our growth in Christ (Matt. 4:4; Col. 3:16; Jas. 5:16).
Aim for multiplication – Jesus discipled 12 men for 3 years and then told them, "Go, make disciples" (Matt. 28:19). He was not just making disicples, he was multiplying disciples. As you disciple others, you should be thinking of how you can train, equip, and prepare them to make disciples as well. This involves holding each other accountable to befriend those outside the church, lead them to faith, and baptize them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Paul’s example - In the NT, Paul is a great model for us regarding discipleship, evangelism, and multiplication: he learned from Barnabas (Acts 9:27), invested in Timothy and Titus to help them grow and develop as disciples and disciple-makers (1 Tim. 1:2; Tit. 1:4), and was always reaching out to others outside the church (Acts 17:17). We should follow his example (1 Cor. 11:1)! So our strategy is to have “1 up, 2 down, 3 out.” One person we’re learning from, two people we’re helping grow, and three people we’re reaching out to: