Derek Dunn Ministries

Wednesday, June 22, 2011 at 09:04am
  A Call to Discipleship

Matthew 28:19-20 (NKJV)
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.


Jesus commanded us to go and make disciples of all nations. A major contributing factor for a Christian and even a leader growing into greater spiritual maturity is discipleship. Discipleship is a term used to refer to a disciple’s transformation from some other World view and practice of life into that of Jesus Christ. This is an onging process for every Christian and leader and it doesn’t take place on our own. Discipleship takes place in the presence of another(s). It doesn’t take place in a crowd or just through listening to a sermon (although there is a place for this as Jesus practiced this too). We must understand that discipleship happens in the most unlikely circumstances when one is living his/her life in the presence of others whom they have submitted themselves to be discipled by.

While Jesus attracted a large following, the term disciple was used to refer specifically to “the 12” who followed Him closely. He discipled the 12 who were committed to an intimate relationship with Him. Jesus didn’t disciple His 12 during His sermons to the multitudes although I am sure they were blessed. Discipleship took place after the meetings were over when the 12 questioned Him concerning what He had taught and many times, what they had misunderstood was cleared as Jesus addressed these issues. In most instances, we see that discipleship took place over a meal or while traveling together.

In modern Christianity, we tend to want our independence and sometimes even quote scriptures that we have no need for anyone to teach us or to disciple us. We tend to shun away from words like discipleship and accountability, etc. There are many Christians who proclaim to follow Christ but who are not even committed to any specific local church or more importantly to any mature believer who can disciple and mentor them. As such, many of their wrong World views and practices are never challenged and conformed to Christ’s image. Christianity is often misrepresented to the unchurched by immature, undiscipled believers.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ.” This absence of discipleship has produced generations of so-called believers and even leaders who misrepresent Christ in the immaturity of their character and doctrine. To claim to be a committed Christian, a follower of Christ or even a spiritual leader and yet to not be committed to any discipler (a leader or more spiritual follower of Christ) is a contradiction. We all need to have someone speaking into our lives and mentoring us. A mentor is a trusted friend, counselor or teacher, usually a more experienced person. [1]

Of course there have been abuses and extremes throughout history where discipleship has been distorted from the biblical pattern found in the word of God and it has gotten “off” but I am not going to take the time in this entry to deal with this here (maybe I will some other time). Although there have been abuses, we cannot throw out the “baby with the bath water”. This does not negate the fact that discipleship is still commanded by Christ and biblically based when it follows the example found in the Word of God. The heart of the discipler is important but discipleship is still the biblical model commanded by Christ and the fruit of biblically-balanced discipleship has brought lasting transformation in the lives of Christians throughout history.

I have personally experienced the blessing of having different ones whom the Lord had used to disciple me in different areas during different seasons of my life. I cannot imagine where I would be if not for these elder brothers and sisters, the spiritual fathers and mothers who spoke into my life, prayed for me and imparted their wisdom into my life.

How can we be submitted to Christ and follow Him, a Person we cannot see, when we are unwilling to make ourselves vulnerable to His representatives whom we can see; those whom He has placed in His church and in our lives? Whether you are a 5-fold minister, a small group leader, a Bible study teacher or just a regular Christian, my prayer for you is that you will get into relationship with someone and pursue to be mentored and discipled by them. Together we are better as the Christian life is not a life of isolation and independence!

With love,


[1] Taken from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

© Derek Dunn Ministries

LABELS: christianity, discipleship, mentoring