Luke 9:23 says, “Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” (NIV)
“A disciple is a person that is “journeying with and helping another to grow in knowledge as well as in the virtues and character of Christ” – Calhoun
A disciple is a person who is dedicated to learning from Christ daily. A disciple is a person who is intentionally walking with others along their faith journey, imparting a little of themselves onto others.
One of my favorite authors’ Dallas Willard coined the phrase: “bar code” Christianity. He said some people ignorantly live as if God rings us with a huge scanner from heaven, which automatically assures us of eternal life. Many people I see in church think that Christianity is simply attending church on Sunday, wearing the uniform; playing in the band, singing in the choir, or tithing. Although these activities are good, they are not enough.
There is more to Christianity than that. That is where discipleship comes in. Discipleship is a process by which God transforms us from ignorance to knowledge. Becoming a Christian is automatic; becoming a disciple is a lifetime commitment. Discipleship is not for a selected few, special Christians. Discipleship is for all Christians. In fact, a disciple and a Christians are one and the same thing. A Christian is incomplete without discipleship. Christianity is about growing in our knowledge of God. A disciple is a Christian who is growing through various stages to spiritual maturity. Discipleship is the avenue for this growth.
Here at the Salvation Army El Cajon Corps, we have committed ourselves to growth. For the past three years, we have been challenging people to be involved in personal discipleship groups.
Are you in a life-giving, spiritually edifying discipleship group? If no, why not?
If you in a discipleship group, keep up the good work. God has more in store for us.