It’s a common word. But what does it really mean and mean for us at Manna?
By Luke Sidebottom
A couple of years ago, Aimee and I decided to start searching for a new church closer to our home and within Lee's Summit region. One of the main things I was looking for was discipleship. I grew up at Kansas City Baptist Temple where discipleship was at the center and forefront of every ministry, from new believers and church members to training ministry leaders. To me, a healthy church is one that can develop young believers into mature believers and equip men and women to lead specific ministries: small groups, Bible studies, prayer groups, etc.
What is Discipleship?
Discipleship is a resource of 16 lessons that establish a person in the word of God, helps to develop a prayer life, aid in building relationships within the church family, and help a believer get established in ministry. We can say that discipleship is a tool to help believers to develop their walk with God and help those to understand their relationship with God. Essentially, discipleship is the building blocks of the faith.
Here at Manna Fellowship Church, we will be utilizing discipleship to foster relationships, establishing new church members in the local body of Christ Jesus, to train men and women to lead in different aspects of ministry such as small groups, bible studies, and other areas of the church. Discipleship at the core is a tool and resource to help people grow in their relationship with God.
What does it mean to become a disciple of Christ Jesus?
In Matthew 4:19, Jesus told Simon (Peter) and Andrew to “...Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” In verse 20, it says “They immediately left their nets and followed Him.”
In Matthew 4:21-22, Jesus called out to James and John and out of obedience they followed Jesus. In verse 22 of chapter 4, it says “and immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed Him.”
In Luke 14:27 Jesus is speaking to a crowd that was following Him and He said, “And whoever does not bear his cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.” Jesus continues that very same thought in verse 33 to the same crowd, “So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be my disciple.”
What does that mean for us?
The word disciple means to be a “learner” or “pupil,” according to the Strong's concordance. We are to be a learner of God and His word. A tool to learn what God says on certain topics is discipleship. In order to know who God is and who we are in Christ Jesus, we must learn what the Bible says about certain topics and how we can connect to Him and conduct our lives in this world. Discipleship is a great tool to start learning more about God and ourselves within the structure of the church.
When Jesus called the 12 to follow Him, He was asking them to follow Him in life, so they could learn from the Living Word (John 1:1) on how to minister to people and teach the scripture, which discipleship will help an individual to learn how to get involved in ministry and start ministering to others.
If you haven't yet been through discipleship and would like to grow in your walk with God and become more involved in ministry at Manna Fellowship Church, then your first step would be to sign up for discipleship and start learning the building blocks of what it means to be a follower and learner of Jesus Christ and His word.
Luke and Amiee Sidebottom lead the Discipleship Ministry at Manna Fellowship church.