As I have been learning more the past year and a half about what good discipleship is, I’m also learning what it is not:
It is not a class
The end goal of discipleship must always be obedience. In Matthew 28:20, Jesus says that discipleship is “teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (emphasis mine). James 1:22-25 underscores the importance of doing the word, not just listening to it. “Discipleship” that focuses only on gaining knowledge and correct doctrine with little practical application is not true Jesus-style discipleship at all.
It is not control
Jesus did not make all his disciples’ decisions for them. Disciples must be free to act according to their own volition and, sometimes, to mess up. Failure can be a great teacher. Disciplers who don’t give their disciples room to err may be stunting the growth of those under their care. Overcontrol can cause a disciple to have an unhealthy level of dependency on his/her discipler.
It is not a 12-week program
Discipleship is ongoing. Because the goal of discipleship is obedience to Christ, and because obedience to Christ takes a lifetime to live out, no believer ever graduates from needing discipleship.
It is not an activity to be performed by an elite few
Jesus commanded His disciples to make disciples, so if you’re a disciple you must be making new ones.
Is there anything you would add to this list? Who are you discipling, and who is discipling you?