A disciple can simply be defined as a learner or a student. We are all called to be disciples, learners or students of Jesus Christ and to make other disciples.

In the Great Commission, Jesus said, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20). Jesus asks us to make disciples of everyone, to baptize them and to teach them; and He promises He is with us.

In defining discipleship, it’s easy to resonate with the author of The Big Book on Small Groups who defines discipleship this way: “The word discipleship means different things to different people. My emphasis is on the deep, intense relationship that Jesus had with His disciples.” If we desire intimacy and depth in our relationships with Jesus, we must be His disciples, His students, and be in intimate relationship with Him.”

There are no shortcuts when it comes to being a disciple of Jesus or making disciples of Jesus. Recently I was in a conversation about being disciples and making disciples. After discussing the investment of time, the intentionality and the discipline that it takes to grow in our relationships with God, the statement was made, “So, there are no shortcuts.” Right. There are no shortcuts in being or in making disciples.

If we desire to grow in any relationship, we must commit to that person and be intentional about investing time and attention with that person and to the relationship. All relationships take time, attention, commitment, intentionality and discipline. Our relationship with Jesus is the same. It requires our devotion, presence, attention and affection. It requires all of us, all of the time.

Being a disciple of Jesus has a price tag. The Dictionary of Bible Themes describes discipleship as “The denial of self-interests and desires, and a total commitment to do the will of God, even to the point of death.” Discipleship involves self-denial and commitment to desiring God above our own interest, regardless of the cost.

Would we be devoted to our relationship with Christ as His disciples and do whatever is necessary to grow in that relationship? May we be Christ followers and commit ourselves fully to sitting at Jesus’ feet as His learners and His students every day of our lives. (For a short video on discipleship, click here.)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Arnold, J., & Black, S. (1992).

The Big Book on Small Groups. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

Manser, M. H. (1999). Dictionary of Bible Themes: The Accessible and Comprehensive Tool for Topical Studies. London: Martin Manser.

Discipleship video.

Robbie loves Jesus, youth ministry, the great outdoors, writing poetry and writing about theology, discipleship and leadership. He has been in ministry more than 17 years and graduated from Trinity School for Ministry with a Diploma in Christian Ministry and from Columbia International University with a B.A. in Bible and General Studies and a minor in Youth Ministry. Follow his blogs at RobbiePruitt.Blogspot.com and RobbiePruitt.com and connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.

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