It was God who authorized, commanded and commissioned Christ to instruct us to “Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. … (Matthew 28:18 – 20, The Message Bible), And the Amplified Bible records the Great Commission in Matthew 28:17-20 as follows:
17 And when they saw Him, they fell down and worshiped Him; but some doubted.
18 Jesus approached and, breaking the silence, said to them, All authority (all power of rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.
19 Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20 Teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you all the days perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age. Amen (so let it be).
I’ve done a little research and came across an interesting article on the topic of discipling others which was written in the Relevant Magazine and my prayer is that you will be encouraged by some of the information I am about to share with you.
The author, Ann Swindoll writes as follows:
To those of us who follow Jesus, discipleship should be a central aspect of our faith. This is because Jesus commanded His followers—in what is commonly referred to as “The Great Commission”… (Matthew 28:18-20).
It’s not a suggestion that Jesus makes here. It’s a command, a charge.
What is discipleship? Put simply, discipleship means intentionally partnering with another Christian in order to help that person obey Jesus and grow in relationship with Him—so that he or she can then help others do the same.
Jesus taught His disciples to follow Him and obey His commands so that they could lead others to do the same after His death, resurrection and ascension.
The Apostle Paul continues the pattern with Timothy and encourages him to keep the cycle going: “What you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2).
Put simply, discipleship means intentionally partnering with another Christian in order to help that person obey Jesus and grow in relationship with Him.
But how do we live out this command and actually do what we’ve been called to do? It can help, I think, to look at what we might be getting wrong about discipleship in order to understand how to get it right.
The author points out that:
Discipleship isn’t easy
To be a disciple of Jesus means that we have given up our lives in order to follow Him wholeheartedly and unreservedly. It means that our lives are no longer our own—they are His.
Discipleship isn’t “Just Jesus and Me”
Discipleship is relational, and to fully respond to the Great Commission, we need to be disciples who are making disciples of Jesus. This means we need to spend consistent time with other believers.
While we are all called to become disciples of Jesus, we become disciples with one another, learning how to love God and each other as we go.
We need to allow others to disciple us by letting them challenge us and encourage us in our walk with God.
This is why church and honest relationships with other believers are so central to the Christian life—we need one another in this journey of becoming wholehearted disciples of Jesus.
Discipleship is not mentoring
Mentoring has to do with what the mentor can offer to someone else through their own wisdom and experience; discipleship has to do with what Jesus can offer to someone else through His wisdom and presence.
Discipleship isn’t a method
To be a disciple of Jesus doesn’t require attending a certain church, participating in a certain Bible study or praying a certain way. But it does require doing the things of the Kingdom, just as the 12 disciples did.
The responsibility of the disciple hasn’t changed. We are still called to do these things—alongside of other believers—by sharing the Gospel in our communities as well as praying for the sick and hurting.
The above information gives us much to ponder upon … Selah
The Message (MSG)
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson
Amplified Bible (AMP)
Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation