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Written by Brandon Cox for Outreach Magazine 9/22, 2015 @ http://www.outreachmagazine.com
Original post @ http://www.outreachmagazine.com/features/5553-is-discipleship-about-growing-or-going.html?mkt_tok=3RkMMJWWfF9wsRokv6vPZKXonjHpfsX57uwpWKKwgIkz2EFye%2BLIHETpodcMTctnPa%2BTFAwTG5toziV8R7DEJM1u2dkQXhXh
Is Discipleship About Growing or Going?
By • September 22, 2015
We often use the word discipleship in two different senses. We refer to our personal spiritual growth as discipleship – the process of becoming more like Jesus. But we also use the word to refer to a person or church’s ministry of making disciples. So when we talk about discipleship as a purpose of the church, to which are we referring? Both. For me, discipleship has always been and hopefully always be a challenging issue to understand. What I mean is that I don’t ever want to have it boiled down to such a simple concept that I see it as a short formula. There are different angles from which we have to view the concept. For example…
We need to be making disciples in the sense of telling people about Jesus who have never had the opportunity to hear about Him before. But discipleship is more than moving people to conversion – it includes moving them beyond it.
As we disciple others, we will naturally be teaching something from Scripture. But we have to be careful never to give the impression that discipleship actually happens through mere intellectual improvement. Real discipleship is somewhat experiential. It’s hands-on learning about being like Jesus.
Discipleship might mean taking someone “deeper” into the Word, but we must balance that idea with the concept of helping people to become self-feeders rather than having to rely on others entirely for their spiritual nourishment.
And discipleship certainly involves learning, but it also involves yielding, doing, telling, serving, and going to find others who aren’t disciples yet.
Discipleship is incremental. It is always possible to go to a “next step” in our obedience to God. But we have to be careful not to judge too harshly those who may not have made as many steps as us.