I have been trying to learn more about what it means to be a disciple, to make disciples and to be a part of a church that has discipleship as a part of its DNA.
In his book, Real-Life Discipleship, Jim Putman, a pastor and church leader, defines a disciple from Jesus’ words to Peter in Matthew 4:19 like this:
“Come follow me” – A disciple is someone who has decided to follow Jesus
“And I will make you” – A disciple is someone who is being transformed by Jesus
“Fishers of men” – A disciple is someone who is committed to Jesus’ mission.
He goes on to say that this reflects conversion of the mind (Deciding to follow Christ), conversion of the heart (allowing God to transform our character) and conversion of the hands (Willingly serving and working to build the Kingdom of God in all its fullness and joy).
He sums up his definition of discipleship like this: “Jesus redeems us for a purpose, not just to give us a ‘get out of jail free’ card. Through faith and the power of His Spirit, Jesus desires for His followers to be disciples, to follow Him daily in practical life, to become like Him in His character, and to joyfully participate in the building the Kingdom and investing in people for eternity.”
What do you think? Do you agree with Jim’s definition? Is there a difference between a believer in Jesus and a disciple of Jesus?
12/2/2011 04:24:46 pm
I sat down tonight for the first time and began exploring our website. I'm impressed, and look forward to more good things to come. I just want to let you know that I like your blog and plan to keep up with it regularly. I particularly like your thoughts on discipleship. Definitely gave me something to think about. Keep up the great work!
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Members of staff and Vestry will be posting on the ResBlog to help us think through who we are in light of the gospel so that we might “spur one another on to love and good deeds.”