If you haven’t had a chance to check out the previous post about discipleship I’d recommend reading them out before starting in on this one! Here they are: Missing: Discipleship Pt 1 & Missing: Discipleship Pt 2.
We’ve looked at Jesus and discipleship, what discipleship is and what it involves, but what about it’s value? Is one better off having discipleship in their life?
There are at least four values of discipleship and the first one is to the disciple. Titus 2:3-6 says,
“Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled.”
In these three verses we can see the benefit of being discipled. Having someone mentoring you in the faith causes you to spiritually grow. As you begin to spiritually grow the desire to do what is right increases and a decrease in wrong behavior will hopefully take place. Being discipled provides a friend and gives you someone to go to for advice as you journey together through life.
The next value of discipleship is to the discipler (one doing the discipling). We always think of the good that discipleship does for the one being discipled, but there are huge benefits to the one mentoring. As a spiritual mentor fosters a relationship with the person they are mentoring joy is experienced when they see progress in the disciples life (see 3 John 2-4). Discipling purifies the life of the discipler (maturing). When you’re a discipler you begin to think about your life and what you do. Those “little” sins you’ve held on you begin to concern you, because now you have someone in your life looking up to you and you don’t want them to lose respect for you and you don’t want them to fall into the things you struggle with because of your example. Therefore, you get rid of them. Discipleship also helps the discipler develop ministry skills. If you disciple someone you’ll have to teach them, counsel them and lead them. All skills that are necessary for ministry.
Another value of discipleship is to the church. It strengthens the body of Christ. Discipleship causes people to grow in their faith, it challenges them to apply Biblical truth and it gives a sense of community. Paul encouraged Timothy to develop his ministry around the principle of discipleship. He told him, “And what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” (2 Timothy 2:2) Discipleship enables veteran leaders to encourage and equip young Christians as leaders. The payoff? It ensures God’s work will continue in the future.
Finally, discipleship impacts the world. It brings the gospel of Christ to the lost and the dying. Can we honestly think that one person is going to individually reach every person in the world? No way! But they can if they practice multiplication through discipleship. The more people sent into the world the more people will be able to hear about Christ. Discipleship allows us to impact the world together through accountability and encouragement.
Two questions to ask: (1) Who should be discipled? (2) Who should disciple? I believe the answer should be obvious.
Please comment below with any additional thoughts or feedback about discipleship. In fact, share how your ministry has incorporated discipleship and what that’s done for the people you serve!
I’ll be posting a more detailed article on the multiplication process in discipleship next week.