Can You Answer the Question, “What Is a Disciple?”
|Written by Patrick Morley|
|Sunday, January 13 2008 19:00|
Today’s Weekly Briefing is adapted from the book I’m currently writing, Pastoring Men, scheduled for release in January 2009 by Moody Publishers).
When I ask pastors and lay leaders, “What is a disciple?” they often don’t have a ready answer. In fact, one time I was part of a panel talking about discipleship and someone from the audience asked, “Exactly what do you mean when you say ‘disciple’?” The panelists started shuffling their papers. Since I am a one trick pony and this is my trick, I fielded the question. Here’s what I said:
Figure 1 lays out the biblical support for this definition:
Figure 1. Biblical support for the call, equip, send definition.
Calling, equipping, and sending are the “trinity” of making disciples. They form the learning process that forges men into passionate followers of Jesus. Isn’t that what we all want?
Discipleship is not merely having the right information—although that is important. It includes everything that moves men along toward spiritual maturity. That could be a sermon, an encouraging or inspiring word in the hall, getting a cup of coffee together, a Sunday school lesson, a home Bible study, a small group experience, teaching Sunday school, volunteering to work in the homeless shelter, leading someone to Christ, or setting up chairs for the mission conference. Anything that calls, equips, or sends.
On the other hand, if what you are doing doesn’t call, equip, or send someone is it really even worth the effort?
Yours for changed lives,