There is nothing more fundamental to the Christian faith and bot building godly men and women than discipleship.

2 Timothy 4:1-5

Much in the fashion when the Apostle Paul spoke in 2 Timothy 4:1-5, in the past thirty-four years I’ve challenged several pastors about the lack of intentional messages, models, and practical programs on discipleship within their churches. I believe too much time and lip service is given to social issues and tickling the ears of congregations. Sound a little critical or too audacious of a comment? I believe God wants us calling people of faith to be unflinching with those un-responsible spiritual leaders who aren’t properly preaching the Word of God. Current events demand that we covet the promises of scripture regarding our Lord’s return. He calls us to be participants in our faith not just spectators.

There are many committed pastors projecting to their congregations the message of redemption and grace while encouraging their flocks to go make disciples. We need more pastors to project the last challenge our Lord gave His disciples – The Great Commission. The way forward for the Church to reach a changing culture is to reclaim the enthusiasm and message seen in the First Century Church (Acts).

My friends – making disciples is key to restoring and revitalizing the Church. What place does it have in our faith? How does discipleship connect with the struggles we are facing today?

Clearly we need more twenty-first-century pastors, teachers, and leaders who consistently talk about and model biblical truths about the primary focus of our faith—discipleship—but their voices are being drowned out amidst the idle chatter of liberal theology and “feel good” religion.

In today’s vernacular, first-century discipleship would best be described as Spiritual Mentoring. In my recent book, The Spiritual Mentor, I explain what is needed to rescue our faith and re-purpose our men – the spiritual leaders of the home. Spiritual Mentors must play a critical role in bringing the church back to its original purpose.

There is nothing more fundamental to the Christian faith and to building godly people than discipleship. Is there a greater mission? Once a person intimately knows God through a divine personal relationship with Jesus Christ, then he is directed to “make Him known.” Listen to some of Christ’s final words to His disciples: “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” – Matthew 28:18–20 (emphasis added)

Theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer said,

When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die. Discipleship means adherence to Christ, and, because Christ is the object of that adherence, it must take the form of discipleship. Christianity without the living Christ is inevitably Christianity without discipleship, and Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ. Discipleship is “. . . bondage to Jesus Christ alone, completely breaking through every program, every ideal, every set of laws. No other significance is possible, since Jesus is the only significance. Besides Jesus, nothing has significance. He alone matters.”

The beginning of a New Year is a great time to start a new Bible study and get involved with your church in establishing a major movement to train, equip, inspire, and educate people on what Christ taught about discipleship. If we can help through our new resources found on our website, please let us know.

Personal Application

What does being an authentic disciple of Christ mean to you? How do you live out your life to reflect the teaching of Christ? What is one thing you can do this week to show the love of God to someone God puts in your path?