What Is Discipleship and Why Is It Beneficial?

From our Worship & Associate Pastor, Marissa Brown:

It is Maundy Thursday. Within Holy Week is the day we remember the Last Supper and when Jesus washed His disciples feet. In light of these events, we are asking the question: What Is Discipleship and Why Is It Beneficial?

When most people think of discipleship, they automatically picture Jesus surrounded by twelve men; his disciples. But discipleship does not only apply to the men that Jesus called to follow him and witness his ministry. Discipleship exists here and now, and it is something that every follower of Christ is called to participate in. Additionally, discipleship can take on many forms. It can be anything from inviting someone into your kitchen for a shared meal to organizing a regularly scheduled coffee date. However it looks, it involves honesty, seeking advice, and looking into Scripture; and someone willing to do all of these things.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says, “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!”.

This passage of Scripture is about the vanity of trying to work alone as a means to outdo another. But labors aren’t the only benefit of working together. Two are also better than one as we live out our faith in Christ. We really need each other, though we often try to go at it alone.

Here are three, among many, benefits of discipleship:

  1. Discipleship Builds Humility

We are tempted to think we know what is best for ourselves. You may have heard it said, “we know ourselves better than anyone”. Scripture, however, says that we might be more confused than we think. The heart is deceitful and so to trust yourself at all times is probably not the best route to take (Jeremiah 17:9). Wise counsel from a friend, pastor, or spouse could be just the thing God uses for our protection.

Proverbs says that a wise man will hear and learn, and will acquire wise counsel (Proverbs 1:5). So it is safe then to assume that an unwise man will not hear from others, will shut them down, will lack understanding and will not acquire wise counsel. We need to resist the temptation to be wise in our own eyes. This is not easy! But as we seek to gain understanding, we must first acknowledge that we don’t always know what is best.

  1. Discipleship Unites Us With Fellow Believers

The body of Christ isn’t meant to simply exist for us to gather together on Sundays and then move along with our lives the rest of the week. God’s Word paints a picture of believers doing life together (Acts 2:44-47). Seeking counsel and discipleship is a way to invite others into your life.

Most of the time people won’t know the details of your life unless you are willing to share with them. Being willing to be discipled by another provides an opportunity for prayer and mutual encouragement (Galatians 6:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:11). We want to pursue one another because we are members of Christ’s body.

  1. Discipleship Equips Us For Faithfulness

Paul tells us in Titus 2:3 that older women in the church should teach what is good and train the younger women. They are to equip other women in how to walk in step with the truth of the gospel. And this isn’t a suggestion– it is God’s instruction for how we should relate to one another. This is Discipleship 101. It’s yet another proof that we need each other. We can’t obey the commands in Titus 2 without being willing to be discipled, and being available and willing to disciple others!

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