Last week during our live Bible study, we covered the topic of intentionality. If you haven't read the notes from our study, definitely take a moment to check it out now!
This week's study is all about Discipleship. It was important to me that we talk about intentionality before we did a study on discipleship. Reason being, the definition of discipleship is to "intentionally equip believers with the Word of God through accountable relationships, through the empowerment of the Holy Spirit in order to replicate faithful followers of Christ".
If you are like me, your mind is already going a million different directions just with the depth of that definition. As you can see, discipleship has to start with intention. So like I said, last week we talked about being intentional in different facets of your life and what that looks like in practice. Let's break down the rest of that definition a bit further and talk about what discipleship looked like in the examples given in the Bible and what it can look like today.
In the Bible:
- Moses- Exodus 3:11
- Eli mentoring Samuel 1 Samuel 3:1
- The 12 Apostles- Matthew 4:18
Today, practicing discipleship can look a little different than in Biblical times. The definition of discipleship helps us break down the three ways we can be a disciple of Christ: equip believers with the word of God, have accountable relationships, and let the Holy Spirit guide us in order to replicate the actions of Christ.
1. Equip Believers with the word of God
Discipleship is so much more than just spreading the gospel. It is taking someone under your wing and assisting others in spreading doctrine. This is what we see in the Old Testament with teachers and rabbis, and is something we can emulate today. Helping a new believer doesn't mean to just tell them about Jesus and then send them on their way. It means ministering to them, loving them, and helping to equip them with the tools and lessons they need to live a life with Christ. We should aim to lead others to a LIFE with Christ, not just a moment with Him.
- Romans 12:1-21
2. Have accountable relationships
This best example we have in the Bible about having accountable relationships with other Christian is the 12 Apostles. These men lived life together. They fellowshipped and ate, prayed, learned, and taught together. They mentored one another and held one another accountable in different areas of life, whether it was how they led their family or how they worshipped and lived for Christ. This is the kind of accountability and fellowship God wants us to have with our brothers and sisters with Christ. It not only lifts us up, but it helps us learn and grow from one another. We were meant to spread the gospel together, as one body in Christ.
- 1 Thessalonians 5:11
3. The Holy Spirit guides us to become more like Christ
Just as the definition of discipleship says, we want to replicate faithful followers of Christ. The best way to do this is to replicate Christ himself and model ourselves off of the way He acted. We are God's children, so we should look up to and model ourselves after Him like we would look up to our parents.
- 1 John 2:6
When we intentionally practice these areas of discipleship, we are acting effectively as the changed people of Christ that we are. A phrase I posted on our Instagram a few days ago has been on my mind: changed people have the ability to change the world. Whether you have a huge impact on a large number of people or just a huge impact on one person you come into contact with, you have the ability to enact change and disciple to them in their own lives. You can't do everything and you certainly do not have to do everything! If we each disciple intentionally in our own little corners of the world, that movement will help make big changes on the world. Christ only had a few followers while He was on this Earth. Think about the impact even those 12 people had.
If you ever purchase something from SHE WHO IS, you will get a note that reads, "you can make a difference, wherever you choose to shine". I mean this line, which is why I want to share it with each and every person I come into contact with. Because wherever you choose to intentionally disciple to others, you can make a difference. It doesn't have to be everywhere, but you have to start somewhere.
I encourage you, as you finish out your week, to be intentional with who you share God's word with, how you equip them, and to strive to live more like Christ. Have a great rest of your week!