When I first became a Christian, I didn’t realize the importance of discipleship.
Honestly, I didn’t even know what discipleship was. It’s not a word that’s used often outside of Christian circles.
Though it’s important we know what discipleship is and why we need to take part in it. The gospels alone use the word “disciple” over 200 times.
So, what is discipleship and why is it so important?
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links and we may receive a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you sign up or purchase products or services mentioned.
What is discipleship?
What is discipleship in the Bible?
In the gospels, discipleship is portrayed as someone who follows and learns from a person. Ultimately, if you’re a Christian, you’re a disciple of Christ. You follow Jesus and learn from him primarily through the Bible.
In the gospel of Matthew, we read about Jesus calling his first disciples in chapter 4.
It reads, “While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:18-19 ESV).
Peter and Andrew (as well as his other disciples) followed Jesus throughout his ministry. They walked with him, ate with him, and were with him for a majority of the time. Jesus walked alongside them and did life with them. He taught them what it meant to truly follow him.
How do you get discipled?
The 12 disciples in the gospels give us an example of what it means to be discipled. So now, how do you intentionally get discipled?
We’re all influenced in one way or another. Who we surround ourselves with matters. The Bible confirms this:
“Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.” (1 Corinthians 15:33 NIV).
“Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” (Proverbs 13:20 ESV).
If you would like to get discipled, it takes some intentionality.
Get to know some of the girls at your church.
First, get to know some of the girls at your church. You can do this by getting involved in some groups at church or asking to hang out with someone one on one.
It’s hard to know who would be a good fit to disciple you. Getting to know someone and seeing if you vibe well with them is a good first step to seeing if you’d want them to disciple you.
Ask her if she’d be open to discipling you.
After you’ve gotten to know some of the girls, ask yourself who you think would be a good fit to disciple you.
Here are some tips of what to look for. Look for someone who is:
- older than you,
- wiser than you,
- committed to the Christian faith,
- and has more life experience than you.
Once you have someone in mind, pray about it. If you feel a peace about it, ask her if she’d be willing to disciple you.
Talk with your pastor about getting discipled.
If there isn’t anyone you know that you could ask, talk with your pastor about getting discipled. Chances are, your pastor has connections and will know someone whos able to disciple you. So, start there.
When I was seeking discipleship, I asked my pastor to connect me with someone. He immediately connected me to an older, wiser woman in the faith.
Are you a true disciple?
Are you a true disciple? How do you know if you’re a true disciple?
A disciple is someone who believes in Jesus and repents (obeys him). In short, a disciple is obedient to Christ, loves God, loves others, lives on mission, and bears good fruit.
To learn if you’re a true disciple, check out What Does It Mean to Be a Disciple of Christ
7 Reasons Discipleship is Important
There are many reasons why discipleship is important. Here are 7 reasons discipleship is important.
#1 It’s displayed in the Bible as a model.
Jesus calls 12 disciples to follow him during his ministry on earth. This was his inner circle. They lived life with him.
As humans, we were made to be in relationships with others – to do life with each other. Having a discipler allows you to do life with someone else.
#2 It keeps you accountable as a disciple of Christ.
Discipleship keeps you accountable as a disciple of Christ. If you’re struggling with anything specifically, discipleship is a place to be honest with someone about that struggle.
Your discipler is there to keep you accountable and encourage you as you navigate different areas of your life.
#3 It helps you grow as a follower of Jesus.
Discipleship helps you grow as a follower of Jesus. Walking your faith alone without the support of others is very difficult.
It’s easier to navigate faith together. Having someone to ask questions and just talk about faith and life with is important. The 12 disciples did this with Jesus. They asked all kinds of questions, even a simple question like how to pray.
#4 It’s an opportunity to learn more about God.
Being in discipleship is an opportunity to learn more about God. In discipleship, you may go through a book in the Bible together or just a Christian book.
As you read and study, you will learn more about God together. You can also learn from your discipler and her life experiences.
#5 It helps you persevere in the faith.
Being in a community helps you persevere in the faith. As I mentioned earlier, it’s very hard to walk out your faith alone.
The Bible says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken,” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NIV).
#6 It will grow your relationship with others.
Discipleship will grow your relationship with others. You and your discipler will grow closer to each other as you get to learn more about them.
It will also help with your other relationships. As you learn more about God with your discipler, that will pour into your relationships with others.
#7 It will help you know who you are in Christ.
Finally, discipleship will help you learn and know who you are in Christ. Your discipler is there to not only keep you accountable but to build you up and encourage you.
Be sure to also read: