Explaining Discipleship

Why do so few people experience spiritual power in their lives? Why is there a Biblical illiteracy among church attendees? Why do individuals who have been Christians for many years remain indifferent and unfruitful?

The reason is that many people have never been discipled. The term “discipleship” appropriately applies to any and all phases of the process of taking a person from being a nonbeliever to the place of becoming an effective leader within God’s kingdom.

Christ Community Church is committed to (1) making disciples and (2) training disciplesMaking disciples refers to the process of seeing an unbeliever begin the journey of following Jesus. Training disciples involves the process of equipping and establishing the believer in a deeper understanding and application of the gospel. Jesus commanded us in Matthew 28:18-20 to “make disciples…baptize them…and teach them.”

Robert Coleman explains the Great Commission in the following way:

The Great Commission is not merely to go to the ends of the earth preaching the gospel, nor to baptize a lot of converts into the name of the triune God, nor to teach them the precepts of Christ, but to make disciples; to build people like themselves who were so constrained by the commission of Christ that they not only follow, but also led others to follow his way.

A Strategy for Discipleship

We believe there are many ways that followers of Jesus can be taught and trained. But we are convinced that the most effective method of discipleship is “life-on-life” relationships. This involves a man or woman sharing their lives with one or more individuals through formal and informal relational intentionality. Laboring in the lives of a few is God’s master plan for making disciples.

Older men are to deliberately invest in younger Christian men, encouraging their spiritual growth (Titus 2:1).  Older Christian women are to invest in younger Christian women, helping them to grow spiritually, which is precisely what Paul tells Titus to instruct the women in his church to do (Titus 2:3-5).

How do I become discipled? Where do I start in discipling others? The discipleship ministry at Christ Community Church will remain an organic and relational process. Knowing that setting up a program or visible structure can deter biblical discipleship, our desire is that willing disciplers will pursue teachable disciples through existing relationships or arranged encounters.

If you wish to be involved in a discipleship group at Christ Community Church, please contact Phil Chambers (men's groups) or Caroline Dempsey (women's groups). Phil and Caroline can explain the committment involved in joining a D-group at Christ Community and suggest a group that you could join. 

Discipleship Begins in the Home

A house is actually a school and a church and the head of the household is a pastor in his house.

-Martin Luther

What good is it if you make disciples of your neighbors and co-workers yet neglect to disciple your own family? Statistics show that between 70 and 88 percent of Christian teens will leave the church by their second year in college. The call to “make disciples” begin in our homes first. As parents, it is our spiritual responsibility to disciple and teach our faith to our children. It is not the churches or schools responsibility to raise our kids. While church is important, the Bible tells us that the home is the primary place of learning the Bible and moral instruction (Deuteronomy 6:4-9).

Here are a few practical ideas that may help you disciple your children

  • Find a good children’s Bible, such as The Jesus Storybook Bible or the ESV children’s Bible
  • Have a daily time for family worship
  • Remember to have fun with your children while learning the Bible
  • Keep the time brief to hold the child’s attention
  • Memorize scripture with your children
  • Listen to scripture songs
  • Pray with your children every day at meals and before they go to bed at night
  • Read missionary biographies with them

For more info on kids' and youth discipleship opportunities at Christ Community Church, please visit our kids ministry page or youth ministry page