When we use the word “discipleship” we are referring to relationships within the family of God, whereby Christians mature spiritually through the imitation and instruction of others, in the church and in the home. Simply put, a discipleship relationship is two people meeting regularly to encourage one another in Christ.
The Bible says Christians are like trees; they are constantly growing (1 Corinthians 3:6; Matthew 7:15-20; Psalm 1; Jeremiah 17:5-8). This growth and maturing of a Christian is called sanctification. (2 Peter 1:8-10; 2 Peter 3:18; Ephesians 4:15; Colossians 1:28; 1 Peter 2:2; Philippians 4:9; Hebrews 13:7). While sanctification is God’s work (God makes Christians grow), it is also man’s work and responsibility (Philippians 2:12-13). Man is like a farmer, both responsible before God, and dependent upon God.
Christians Mature by Instruction
The Bible calls pastors and parents to instruct those given to their care (Galatians 6:6; Ephesians 6:4; 1 Timothy 6:3; 4:2). It also calls all believers to instruct one another (Romans 15:14).
Christians Mature by Imitation
Christians are imitators – first of God, then of each other. We grow by imitating and listening to those more mature (1 Corinthians 11:1; Hebrews 13:7; Philippians 4:9; 2 Timothy 3:10). A growing Christian, at any given time, should find himself on either side of discipleship – not only looking for an example to follow, but also setting an example; not only heeding sound teaching, but also passing sound teaching on.
At Veritas Church, here is where we pray discipleship is happening. It is where God’s Spirit, God’s Word, and God’s people come together:
- On Sundays we gather to hear instruction from God’s Word. (2 Timothy 4:1-3; Acts 20:7)
- In community groups we gather to build relationships with one another and serve God together. (Hebrews 10:24-25; Colossians 3:16)
- Through various activities and ministries we have more opportunity to build intentional relationships with other Christians.
- Formal discipleship takes place when a Christian builds an intentional relationship with another Christian for the purpose of helping them to mature in Christ. (1 Corinthians 11:1; Titus 2:3-5)
If you are interested in this sort of one-on-one discipleship relationship, please click here to fill out a discipleship interest form.
How to Engage in Discipleship
- Become a committed member of a local church.
- Arrive early at church gatherings and stay late.
- Pray to God for intentional friendships. Look for ways to pray for others throughout the week by yourself and/or with your spouse. Pray with other publicly.
- Make your conversations intentional – looking specifically to asking questions about others, simply that you may know and love them better. Look for ways to have conversations about the gospel.
- Practice hospitality with members of your church, by inviting them over to your home.
- Depending on your home situation, invite the person to drop by your house or spend time with your family. Let them watch you live life.
- If possible, include a line-item in your family budget for weekly time with fellow Christians. Discuss this matter with your spouse. If possible, provide such a budget line for your spouse as well.
- Schedule regular breakfasts, lunches, or some other culturally-acceptable social engagement with teachable individuals (of the same sex). Depending on the person, you may decide to meet once, indefinitely, or for a set number of times (say, five). If you and the individual share a pastime, look for ways to share that pastime together.
- At Veritas, attend a class like “Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands,” or our “Membership Class,” or sign up for “Discipleship Training.”
- If you are looking to be discipled, start watching how older Christians work, rest, raise a family, deal with conflict, evangelize, persevere, serve in the church, or fight against sin – and Imitate them.
Click here for studies and resources in our church bookstore.