While every disciple is a believer, not every believer is necessarily a disciple.
Many may think that the term disciple refers only to the early followers of Christ. We know that they were a praying, worshipping, loving, giving, and evangelizing group of men and women who refused to keep the truth of the gospel to themselves. Yet, God still desires disciples today—ordinary people like you and me whom God can use to do extraordinary things.
The Christian experience of the believers in the first-century church may seem radical to many in the church today, but to those early believers, it was normal Christianity. And these men and women—empowered and motivated by the Holy Spirit—turned their world upside down for the sake of Christ. In short, they were true disciples of Jesus Christ.
If you are a true disciple, your Christian walk will be challenging and exciting, and you will have a sense of purpose and direction. But if your Christian experience can be described as dull, unfulfilling, and even boring at times, you need to seriously examine the statements Jesus made concerning what it means to be a disciple. After all, how can we expect to fulfill the Great Commission (Mark 16:15; Matthew 28:19) to go into all the world and make disciples if we don’t even really know what one is? It literally takes one to make one.
The relationship between the disciple and his teacher is not merely that of a student listening to a lecturer, or a passively interested listener. A disciple listens with attention and intention. He drinks in every word of his teacher, marking every inflection of voice with an intense desire to apply what has been learned.
After Jesus rose from the grave, He left His followers with a simple command: “Go into all the world and make disciples” (see Matt. 28:19). The church should be known for this. If we are going to call ourselves followers of Jesus Christ, we should be making disciples.
But most Christians today are not known for making disciples. We have developed a culture where a minister ministers and the rest of us sit back and enjoy “church” from a comfortable distance. This is not what God intends for His church. Every Christian is called by God to minister. You are called to make disciples.
Coming in August