Discipleship is a basic aspect of the Christian faith.
A disciple is a person who has accepted Jesus Christ and is committed to sharing His message with others. The first disciples were the men whom Jesus Christ called to walk with and assist Him during His ministry on Earth. A disciple is a follower of Christ, and discipleship is following Him. Jesus told His disciples in Luke 9:23 that following Him is dying to our old ways of living and resting in our new life in Christ.
This may be a figurative expression, but it is a fact that many people have died so that we may have the opportunity to accept Christ. Most of the apostles died because of their faith, and even today there are stories of believers who have died because they would not renounce their faith. We, too, should strive to have that kind of faith in our Savior. We may not physically die for our faith, but as disciples of Jesus, we die to our passions and desires and begin to live a life with a purpose bigger than ourselves. We begin to live for Him. One of the reasons why I felt led to write this guide is that over my course of ministry, we have baptized hundreds of people and discipled very few. If that is true for my own ministry, maybe it is true for other churches and church leaders. May we get back to the basics of what God asked us to do: make disciples.
My prayer is that this guide will help you and your disciple-makers have gospel conversations that help you grow in your faith. At the end of your time together, we are going to ask you to return the favor your discipleship partner showed to you and disciple someone else. Maybe right now, you can start praying for that person. Maybe you already know them by name, or possibly your church can help connect you with them after your study. Discipleship is not just about following Jesus but also about leading others to Him. As we see in Matthew 28:19-20, we are called to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Discipleship is not just a personal relationship with Christ but a shared one. We are called to share the message of Christ with others and help them to become disciples as well.