The following post was written by Andrew Jacobson in 2014 as part of a discipleship blog series. We are revisiting these topics in our current sermon series and publishing his writings here with his permission.
Discipleship is not an event or a station that you one day arrive at. Discipleship is a process that we are a part of from new-birth to death. Yet as we mature in this process we should be looking to come alongside those who are younger in the faith so that we might help them grow in Christlikeness. To be a disciple means not only that you are growing but that you are helping to grow others. A disciple is a disciple maker. This is why we have put as the tenth and final piece of our Discipleship Vision, Disciple-Reproducing. In this area of discipleship we want everyone at First Free to be mobilized to take the truth they have learned and transfer it to others through various relational avenues such as mentoring, counseling, and teaching.
This is part of the fundamental command that Jesus gave His Church in Matthew 28:19, “Go and make disciples.” We mature in our Christian character that we might help others mature. We grow in our knowledge of God’s Word so that we might help others do the same. We evangelize so that we might teach others to declare the Gospel boldly.
To help think about how you can become a Disciple-Reproducer first ask the question, “Where can I find people to disciple?”
- Discipleship should always start at home. Parents are charged with the task of raising their children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4).
- It’s not just the pastor’s job to make sure everybody is maturing. As a member of the Church you should be on the lookout for people who are younger in the faith and could benefit from your counsel and care.
- You are surrounded by people and the specific people you are placed around is no accident. Ask how and who God can use you to reach and disciple in your neighborhood.
Another very important question to ask regarding discipleship is “How do I make disciples?” Here are a few answers to that question:
By grounding them in the Gospel
- A discipler does discipleship by constantly proclaiming, teaching, and pointing a disciple to the work and worth of Christ.
By setting an example of Christ-like conduct
- A discipler does discipleship by striving to lead an exemplary life of Christ likeness so they can call a disciple to emulate their example (1 Corinthians 11:1).
By committing to pray for them
- A discipler does discipleship by both leading someone in prayer and praying for that person.
By offering accountability
- A discipler does discipleship by helping a disciple own up to and fight against sin.
By living life and investing time
- A discipler does discipleship by doing everyday and ordinary things with the one they are discipling so they can see what the Christian life looks like on a daily basis.
By teaching and training
- A discipler does discipleship by opening up the Word, imparting sound doctrine, and helping a disciple live out that truth.
This list is by no means exhaustive but it is a start to what it looks like to be a Disciple-Reproducing disciple.