The Basics of Discipleship

A disciple is someone who believes in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, intentionally learns from Him, and strives to live more like Him. Discipleship is a widely-used word to describe a journey of spiritual growth. This growth happens as a person comes alongside another to witness to them, pray with them, study the Bible with them, and fellowship with them.

Discipleship | The Navigators
The Navigators at Bowie State University, Baltimore, MD area, August 10, 2021

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The Definition of Discipleship

Scriptures on Discipleship

Resources on Discipleship

Following Jesus Through Life-to-Life® Discipleship

The Definition of Discipleship

What is Discipleship?

A disciple is someone who believes in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, intentionally learns from Him, and strives to live more like Him. Discipleship is a widely-used word to describe a journey of spiritual growth. This growth happens as a person comes alongside another to witness to them, pray with them, study the Bible with them, and fellowship with them.

Why is Discipleship Important?

Jesus told us to go and make disciples as he knew that was how the Good News would be spread to all the nations. And discipleship is how it would be shared from one person to another through relationships.

Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age’” Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV).

Jesus illustrated a simple picture of what it looks like to share his love with others in everyday life. “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others” 2 Timothy 2:2 (NIV).

Peter, one of Jesus’ disciples, wrote about how growing in Christ will change our character (2 Peter 1:5-8). The best way to experience this type of growth and life change, while partnering with the Holy Spirit, is through discipleship. We’re called to grow in Christ and help others do the same (1 Corinthians 11:1).

“To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, ‘If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples’” John 8:31 (NIV).

Scriptures on Discipleship

Where is Discipleship Found in the Bible

We see discipleship modeled in the Bible and even specific Scriptures explaining what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, follow Him, and become more like Him.

What It Looks Like to Be Christ’s Disciple

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” Matthew 6:33 (NIV).

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” Romans 12:2 (NIV).

“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” 1 Corinthians 15:58 (NIV).

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” Mark 10:45 (NIV).

“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 (NIV).

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV).

What It Looks Like to Grow in Christlikeness

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” John 13:34-35 (NIV).

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” Philippians 2:3-4 (NIV).

“Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul” 1 Peter 2:11 (NIV).

“So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man” Acts 24:16 (NIV).

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” Hebrews 11:6 (NIV).

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” Galatians 6:9-10 (NIV).

Discipleship Modeled in Scripture

Jesus and His Disciples: Matthew 4:18-22; Mark 4, Luke 11:1-11, John 15

The First Church: Acts 2:42-47

Paul and Timothy: Acts 16:1-5; 1 Timothy; 2 Timothy

Resources on Discipleship

Discipleship Tools for New Believers

Here are a few of our FREE discipleship resources to get you started.

Discipleship 101 eBook

Do you wonder what it looks like to pray or study the Bible with someone else? Aren’t sure where to start?

It doesn’t need to be complicated! You already have everything it takes to come alongside others and help them grow in Christ.

That’s why we created “Discipleship 101” as a free resource to help you practice simple and practical spiritual growth habits with those around you. Follow the example of three Christians like yourself who discovered how to help their friends, family, and community grow in Christ.

Through this “Discipleship 101” eBook you will discover the unique ways you’ve already been equipped to help others grow in Christ.

Click below to claim your free “Discipleship 101” eBook today.

 

Get eBook

 


The Word Hand

This downloadable illustration is an easy-to-remember tool highlighting five methods of learning from the Bible.

 

Download

 


How to Pray using the PRAY Method

This downloadable resource based on the Lord’s Prayer can provide a structure and flow for your prayer life. Use this in your personal prayer life or when praying with others.

 

Download

 


Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus Bible Study

This short downloadable Bible study will give you a clearer picture of Christ’s heart for discipleship.

 

Download

 


How to Disciple Others

Often the key to discipleship is growing in your relationship with Jesus and then inviting others to join you in the ways you’re growing. But you may wonder, How do I grow in my relationship with Jesus?

You’re not alone in desiring a deeper relationship with Christ and not knowing how to take the next step. We want to come alongside you and invite you to take the next step in our Digital Discipleship Journey.®

A Digital Discipleship Journey is a series of 8-12 emails designed to inspire and equip you to grow spiritually and help others do the same, based on your answers to some brief questions about your walk with God.

 

Get Started Today!

 


Discipleship and YOU

Here are a few stories from disciplemakers just like you to show what discipleship could look like.

Learning How to Share the Gospel – “One day Shane asked, ‘Mike, would you teach me how to share the gospel with someone?’”

Telling Your Story – “We need to help people tell their stories in a conversational way rather than a way that feels like a program.”

Using the Bridge Illustration – “It was clear that God was preparing Will’s heart, and I used the opportunity to share my testimony and the Bridge Illustration.”

Growing Disciples Around the Table – “Each week they have Marines in their home to share physical and spiritual food.”

Inviting Others to Join You for Prayer and Bible Study – “We continue to have great conversations with Mahir as he engages with Scripture.”

The Importance of Being Good Neighbors – “In the course of conversation, Mary invited the women to read the Bible with her and they jumped at it.”

From Reading the Bible to Loving God’s Word – “As she has grown in her own relationship with Jesus, Ellie has developed a heart for sharing the hope she found in God’s love and salvation with those around her.”

Following Jesus Through Life-to-Life Discipleship

As Navigators, we are passionate about inspiring and equipping everyday people to know Christ, make him known, and help others do the same.®

Essentially, it follows Jesus’ example of how he invested in the lives of the 12 disciples. The Life-to-Life element is about intentionally coming alongside another person starting from wherever they are spiritually and sharing God’s love with them in ways you think will resonate. Intentionally praying together, studying the Bible together and doing everyday life together.

Discipleship | The Navigators