Thoughts on Discipleship

Posted: 03/26/2010 in Discipleship

I was recently told by a parent that their child (high school age) doesn’t want to be discipled, doesn’t need it, they commented. As I reflected on this conversation, I had to come to my own understanding of why discipleship is important. There are lots of reasons for discipleship, here are three of the big ones that I have been wrestling with.
Community
The importance of community can’t be over estimated. We all need people to walk along side us, encourage us, and remind us we are not alone in the things we go through. Even if it’s as simple as having someone to listen to you, that’s part of being in community, part of being there for each other. We were never designed to “go it alone.”
How do we know this is an important commodity for believers? God Himself models if for us throughout Scripture. We see perfect community in the trinity. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit model what it’s like to live in community, perfectly.
We need community to have people speak God’s truth into our lives. For believers the idea of interdependence is both very wanted and extremely scary all a the same time, but it is necessary. This leads to the next benefit discipleship offers.
Accountability
Being in a discipleship / mentoring relationship provides all involved with accountability. We all need to people to show us our sin and keep it before us. Accountability also provides the opportunity to bear each other burdens. All three are necessities in the life of believers. Accountability leads to the final category.
Growth
As we walk together, we learn from each other, and in the process grow together. We grow closer to God as we are dig deep into His Word together. We grow in grace as we spend time speaking the Gospel into each other’s lives.
We grow because our thoughts and ideas about what we think we know are challenged, and/or expanded. When they are challenged, we either defend them or come to a new understanding of what we believe. As we discuss our experiences in light of Scripture, we expand our understanding and wisdom. Both challenge and expansion are part of the growth process.
Conclusion
Discipleship is necessary. God designed it that way for a reason. He isn’t interested in spiritual “lone rangers” who try to go it alone. We all are smarter when we share what God is teaching us with each other. He designed us to be in community, to be accountable to each other, and to grow with each other. We can’t “do” the christian experience without each other. Discipleship is important because it reminds of our desperate need for God and His Gospel!
Some time soon I will add my thoughts on why some people don’t like and avoid discipleship.

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