Why Discipleship?

Why Discipleship?                                                                                                          1.  Like a lifeguard who protects your life when swimming, discipleship serves to guard one's life from Satan's attacks. Good mentors keep themselves in relationship with other growing Christians. 2.  Its Biblical! It's a command, not an option.                                                                                     3.  It reinforces the truth of God's Word in one's life.                                                                         4.  It offers a safe place to deal with failure.                                                                                 5.  It produces the next generation of Christian leaders.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   If making disciples is imperative, we must understand what discipleship actually means (Matthew 4: 19):                                                                                                                   1.  It is an Invitation to enter into a relationship with Jesus and then to follow (obey) his teachings.   2.  Discipleship is intentionally creating relational environments which allows it to flourish. 3.  Discipleship is spiritually multiplying ourselves in other people’s lives.                                    

Making disciples is a challenge because it requires patience as described from the book of Mark:                                                                                                             1.  Sometimes the disciples struggled to realize who their mentor was (4:35-41).                       2.  They didn’t always understand what Jesus could do (5:30-43).                                                   3.  They failed to learn from previous miracles (feeding 5,000 in 6:41 and 4,000 in 8:1-10).           4.  The disciples had God’s power at their disposal but still failed to exorcise a spirit primarily because they lacked faith and prayer (9:14-29).                                                                             5.  They rebuked people for bringing children to their mentor (10:13-16).                                     6.  One of them betrayed Jesus to death (14:43-46).                                                                    7.  All of the disciples deserted Jesus when He was arrested (14:50).                                         8.  One of them denied being a mentee at all (14:66-72).                                                               9.  Our effectiveness is in direct proportion to our faith (Romans 12:3).

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Disciples Who Make Disciples


“What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one. I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth” (I Corinthians 3:6-7).

Apollos and Paul were disciples who made disciples. Paul planted the spiritual seed and then Apollos watered it. Each of them had a specific role in the discipleship process. Each emulated Jesus in their thoughts, words, and actions leaving the results to God. The disciples they made also emulated these same characteristics. Jesus promised, "Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father" (John 14:12).

The critical aspect of discipleship is passing on what you learned to other people who have not been discipled. Paul charged Timothy with that very task. It is described in II Timothy 2:2, “and the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.” This is called the spiritual multiplication of disciples as illustrated below:

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On the other hand, spiritual addition is the result of a Christian who is saved by Jesus, but who has not been discipled, or has been discipled but has not discipled another person.  Spiritual addition is not what Jesus meant when he said to "Go and make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:19). The word "disciples" is plural, not singular.

Spiritual addition limits the amount of people who could be discipled and the biblical influence that is critically needed in our culture. Through the power of God's Holy Spirit, this influence helps to address our current cultural problems such as abortion, civil unrest, divorce, and financial struggles, just to name a few. Twelve Disciples Ministries (TDM) offers biblical discipleship in order to help create better relationships, providing the biblical answers to the needs of our culture. You can learn more about TDM by clicking on the button shown below. I, Doug Wood, would enjoy hearing from you, especially if discipleship has not been established in your life and/or church. Just send me an email through TDM's website located in the "Contact Us" tab. I can help you get started!

The following quote by Ken Adams of Impact Ministries helps to put spiritual multiplication further into perspective. He said, “Jesus took pre-Christians and turned them into reproducing Christians. He won them. He built them. He sent them. This is the exact process Jesus used to multiply disciples and it is to be the same process we use today. Jesus never intended for us to make disciples by addition – only by multiplication.”