Key Scripture: Colossians 1:28-29 “Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all the energy (of Christ) that powerfully works within me.”
The process of discipleship is like the physical growth of a person. In the toddler years, there is much teaching, modeling, and hand holding. As proficiency develops, more responsibility and expectations come with less hand holding. We expect a child would mature and no longer need hand holding and would grow to lead another.
Paul leveraged his life to make Christ known AND to present other followers as spiritually mature. Paul wasn’t satisfied that they knew Christ. He “toiled, struggling with all the energy” of Christ, in order that they stand mature. Paul persevered in the process of discipleship until they matured as full followers of Christ. This is our calling as well.
Evangelizing is part of discipleship, as is teaching, modeling, correcting, encouraging, and accountability. The discipleship process takes time and effort.
Accountable relationships with others who are growing in Christ-likeness is a necessary piece of discipleship. People are the object of God’s redemptive work, and God uses His people as the means of training others to mature in Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1; Colossians 4:12-13). These relationships may be one-to-one, a small group, or a group of 20. Christian maturity is about Christ and helping others to grow in Christ- likeness.
In order to teach another to follow Christ, you must know and obey Christ. To know what Christ wants His followers to be, know, and do, you must be in the Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:3-4). The eight discipleship goals are train tracks, helping us to be, know and do all Christ commanded. The “eight things” aren’t the goal, but are a means to help us obey Christ by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit.
Discipleship is work. Pastor Jim Gillespie has stated, “Followers of Christ will imitate Him, learn of Him, talk to Him, listen to Him, obey Him, glorify Him.”
Questions to Consider:
Do I obey everything Christ commanded? Do I toil that others may stand mature in Christ?
Father, help me to be an obedient follower of Christ.
Help me to toil that others may also obey Christ.