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Discipleship

Before you can make disciples, you need to understand how you can share the gospel with others through the ABC of Evangelism. Making disciples requires spiritual maturity.

What is Discipleship, and Why Is It Important? 

What is a disciple? In The Message, Eugene Peterson translates Luke 14:25-27, “One day when large groups of people were walking along with him, Jesus turned and told them, “Anyone who comes to me but refuses to let go of father, mother, spouse, children, brothers, sisters—yes, even one’s self! —can’t be my disciple. Anyone who won’t shoulder his cross and follow behind me can’t be my disciple.”

The disciple’s love for Jesus must surpass every other love, including love for self. Disciples have only one Master, and His directives take priority over all others. I am a father, husband, grandfather, brother, uncle, great-uncle, friend, neighbor, citizen, teacher, coach, blogger, Bible teacher, pastor, and disciple. The last must take priority over all the others.

Following Jesus means denying our right to make independent decisions without consulting anyone. We are not free to follow our own agenda.

Our plans are tentative. Jesus' values and priorities supersede ours. His hands turn the steering wheels of our lives.

Jesus demands extreme personal sacrifice because we can’t imitate His ways without giving up our own. My father taught others how to work on aircraft engines for a time.

 

After being instructed, one man who had previously worked on auto engines said, “That’s not how I do it.” My father’s response was, “Not here.”

Jesus demonstrated extreme personal sacrifice. He does not require us to do something He did not do.

He is the pattern we are to imitate. The goal is to take on His “shape.”

When I was pastor, one of the children told his mother that he didn’t see the Lord that day. He was referring to me! That is the only time someone has confused me with Jesus. Wouldn't it be wonderful if that happened to all of us more often?

Our obedient sacrifices measure our love for Jesus (John 14:21). Following Him means doing what He says. Galatians 5:6 says that the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.

Christian disciples follow and imitate Jesus and express their faith through loving words and actions. Love has a four-fold focus – God, neighbor (Matt. 22:37-39); other believers (John 13:34-35), and enemies (Matt 5:44). Love requires extreme personal sacrifice.

 

My bathroom sink was clogged because hair and gunk obstructed the pipe. An internet search revealed many suggestions for clearing the clog, but I didn’t search until after I used harsh chemicals. Those chemicals are not as environmentally friendly as other methods, but they illustrate a point.

Self in the driver's seat obstructs the flow of God’s love through us to others. God’s ways for removing self can be harsh and painful at the moment. But they prepare us for ministry to others as nothing else could.

Believing in Jesus means following Him. That's hard because we like the familiar. The older we get, the more our habits control us.

Some enrich us, while others entrap us like a fly struggling in a spider web. Nothing benefits us more than developing practices that balance our lives and nurture our Christian growth. 

Discipleship Materials

 

These free Christian discipleship materials are designed to help you walk with God. We need a spiritual development path, and I didn't have one when I was young, let alone free discipleship training. That's why I'm motivated to provide free discipleship training for you.

ABC of Christian Growth explains the initial steps to discipleship to help new believers grow in their faith. It includes helping them have the assurance of salvation.

It encourages them to spend daily time with God and become a regular part of a local church. It describes Jesus Christ as their new leader and the importance of obeying Him. It includes Bible-reading pointers and prayer pointers as well. It reviews the critical area of forgiveness.

​Too often, new believers receive little guidance in the essentials of discipleship after they embrace Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Consequently, many believers never get beyond the first base in their spiritual development. 31 Steps Toward Spiritual Maturity explores 31 core topics for believers to master to become more like Jesus. Find additional resources to mentor at Discipleship Books Free Download.

 

Believer and a Disciple explain following Jesus.

 

Balanced Christian Life describes eleven areas that each needs balancing. 

His Power for Your Weakness is an evangelistic, devotional, and discipleship resource. African pastors have used it to disciple 4,701 people in Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique since April 2022. These 260 devotionals communicate what I've learned in 54 years of following Jesus. More than 2,400 have decided to follow Jesus in the classes these pastors have taught.  

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Spiritual Health Assessment is an 18-statement survey to measure your spiritual health. It focuses on Christian practices, not biblical knowledge. It will help you identify weak areas you can strengthen.

 

If you want, you can compare your responses with others who have done the checkup. The checkup will help you see what areas of your Christian practice are vital and which need work.  

Spiritual Health Suggestions contains practical suggestions to become spiritually healthier. It helps you strengthen weaknesses the Spiritual Maturity Checkup reveals. 

Making disciples is part of your Church Assimilation Strategy. 

Photo: Small Group Network/Unsplash​​

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