Defining Discipleship

July 26, 2013, 0 Comments

Defining our terms is a critical part of leadership. Unfortunately, one of the terms that remains undefined in many congregations is the word “discipleship.” Most pastors and churches have a general idea as to what they mean by the word. But few have put a laser focus on the details of its implications.

This week, Exponential posted a blog with over 70 definitions of the word from various church leaders. Some of my favorites are:

“I believe discipleship, at its essence, is finding someone a few steps in front of you on the spiritual journey and following them.” Paul Williams, author, leader with The Orchard Group

“Discipleship is helping each other belong in a healthy relationship with God through proclaiming and modeling the Gospel; equipping each other to become more like Jesus through the study of His Word and experiencing biblical Community; and holding each other accountable to bless His Kingdom and our world through sharing, serving and giving of ourselves.” Shawn Lovejoy, pastor, author

“Discipleship is equipping the individual to live in God’s community.” Randy Frazee, pastor, author

“Discipleship is shepherding a person or group of people toward Christlikeness and Kingdom mindedness, resulting in spiritual reproduction and Kingdom impact in the community.” Dave Stewart, The Rock Church, San Diego

“Discipleship is life lived together in pursuit of becoming completely ourselves completely in Christ.” Bob Lawler, Director of Missions, Redwood Empire Baptist Association

“Discipleship is becoming more and more like Jesus and letting Him live His life more and more in me.” Alan Hirsch, author, missiologist

“‘Trust and obey’ characterizes the whole process of discipleship. Undergirding it is a loving relationship between Jesus and us. Hence, we are changed into His likeness through a lifelong faith journey with our loving Lord.” Jooching Ching, ZGM Training Center, Phillippines

“Christian disciples are sent men and women–sent out in the same work of world evangelism to the which the Lord was sent.” Dr. Robert Coleman

“Discipleship is the process of becoming a genuine follower of Jesus Christ. We don’t complete the process this side of eternity, but it is a continual learning of who Jesus is and striving to be like Him. Discipleship combines teaching, studying, circumstances of life and Holy Spirit revelation to transform us into His image.” Ron Edmondson, pastor and thought leader

“Discipleship is admiring someone so much that you are willing to give up who you are to be like Him.” Larry Elrod

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