What is Discipleship? Why is it important?
I have spent far too many years of my life being a “good” Christian, trying to attend church whenever the doors were open, serving wherever I felt I could help or wherever I felt led. I was missing something. I was actually missing a LOT. You see, Sunday morning church attendance (or even Sundays and Wednesdays and any-other-days of being a church attender) was not enough. Following the rules whether they were written or unwritten rules, was not enough. Trying to play the role of the “good” Christian who did what was right in the eyes of any human audience was not enough. All of my attempts to grow and learn and BE the person that God wanted me to be were not enough. It was never going to be enough.
Discipleship is walking through life alongside other fellow travelers trying to follow Jesus, to not only have FAITH IN JESUS (as I most assuredly claimed to have from the age of 9 years old on) but to have FAITH LIKE JESUS. Since May 2016, I have been on a discipleship journey. When one person chose to invest time in the lives of a handful of women seeking to know Jesus more, it changed my life. When this group of women from very different walks of life committed to simply do life together, to learn and grow side-by-side as we journeyed down our paths, it changed my life.
Discipleship is life-changing. While so many other things in my life were not enough, leaving me feeling as if I wasn’t enough, this discipleship journey has shown me that I am enough because of JESUS! My desire is now to learn to love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love others like Jesus loves (the Greatest Command–Luke 10:27, and the new command from Jesus–John 13:34). Because of Jesus, I am enough.
Through discipleship, I have learned my identity in God as Father, in Jesus as a coheir and brother and friend, and in the Holy Spirit as my Comforter, Teacher, Guide, and the Presence of God with me. I have learned to view my emotions as a vital part of who God created me to be and the importance of emotional healing and emotionally healthy spirituality. I have learned what it means to “renew our minds” and the power of understanding the intersection of modern science/psychology and Scripture in affecting true life change. I have learned the value of connection with a close group of fellow disciples all learning to have FAITH LIKE JESUS. I have learned to consider how God might use all of this and all of the gifts and talents He has given me to better serve Him with all of my strength.
Discipleship has brought a shift in thinking, a change in core beliefs, not necessarily in doctrinal or theological matters but in understanding who I am and WHO GOD IS! This ontological shift has forever changed me. When this happens, the disciple can truly do the work of going on to make more disciples. I’ve been blessed to work with more groups of women in the past two years to help them make these same core belief changes. I look forward to watching what God has in store for the future of my discipleship journey. I will do my best to share some of this journey here.
Have you experienced true discipleship in your life? What does discipleship mean to you?