Remember: discipleship is about relationships, and relationships are about people. And people are everywhere! Think about the people in your life—your family, your friendships, people at school, at your job, in your church, at the gym, at the coffee shop, and at the grocery store. People are all around.
As Christ-followers, we are called to discipleship. This isn’t meant to be an added burden or an additional program, but instead it’s a lens through which we can view our existing relationships in the life we are already living. This call of discipleship is not bound by specific talents, gifts, or stages of life. We can all disciple in our current spheres of life.
Jesus is our Model
So how do we do discipleship? We follow in the footsteps of Jesus. He is our example. He spoke discipleship into being and then lived it out. Jesus came to earth to provide salvation, reconcile us back to God, and build a church that would follow Him and take His message of the gospel to the world. This was Jesus’ purpose, and everything He did was in line with this purpose (Coleman 1993). Jesus is the beginning, the means, and the end of discipleship. He is our model. We strive to disciple like Jesus discipled.
In Matthew 28:18–20, after Jesus was resurrected from the dead, He said these famous words to His disciples: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” This is the Great Commission.
If you are a follower of Christ, this is your call: to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing and teaching the commands of God. Because Jesus defeated sin and death, God gave Him the authority to call us to discipleship. He has invited us into His work. How amazing! Despite our brokenness, He still wants to use us. He has called us to discipleship and He will empower us to live out this calling.
The call to make disciples can seem daunting. You might be thinking: I have never heard of the word discipleship. Where do I start? Whom should I disciple? What should I talk about? I don’t have the time for this. No one is interested. I’ve tried but it just hasn’t worked. Wherever you are, it’s okay! Discipleship is simple. Don’t overcomplicate it. It’s simple because discipleship comes by building relationships and investing in people. And people are worth it. Jesus is worth it. We get to demonstrate and share the good news of Christ—and that is worth it!
Be encouraged today by Jesus’ last words in the Great Commission: “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). Take courage: He is with us as we go forth and make disciples. Always. To the end of the age.