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The Four Pillars of Discipleship

Jesus said, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind.

Matthew 13:47

Watch Week One Day Four

Fishers of Men

In Matthew 13:47 Jesus said, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was thrown into the sea and gathered fish of every kind.” In this parable, Jesus defined the net as the gospel, or the kingdom of heaven. In discipleship, Christ followers cast out the net of the gospel and pray that God will catch the hearts of men.

Now that we understand God’s love for all people and His call to discipleship, where do we go from here? How do we actually implement discipleship in our daily lives? Throughout this study, we will discuss four pillars of discipleship: Initiative, Start Something, Faithfulness through the Middle, and Results—a Backward Mentality. We will spend a week on each of these four pillars.


Initiative consists of moving toward something. This can be the hardest step in discipleship because it requires people to reach out to those around them. Initiative is the “Go” of the Great Commission. As we study initiative, we will look at the ways Jesus initiated something with those around Him. We will discuss the need for initiative, our fears in initiating, and the beauty that can come from initiating.

Start Something

Starting something means just that: start something! This is the practical side of discipleship. Starting something might mean beginning a brand new thing but it also might be starting something within the places you find yourself each day. It could be starting a Bible study, but it could also be reaching out to a coworker in a new way. As we dream about starting something, we will discuss how to have a “starting” vision, the way Jesus started things, tips for starting something, and the struggle involved in starting something.

Faithfulness Through the Middle

Once you have taken initiative and started something, you are now in the middle of discipleship. This middle space may last a few months or years depending on the type of relationship. This middle ground can be difficult, as it requires endurance, faithfulness, and patience. For this discussion, we will identify the challenges of discipleship, how Jesus was faithful, the struggle to endure, and how to be faithful to the end.

Results -- A Backwards Mentality

It might seem interesting to talk about results when it comes to discipleship. How do you quantify discipleship? Throughout this week, we hope to shed light on the biblical view of success, which can be quite different from the secular view of success. We will discuss the goal of discipleship, how Jesus viewed results, and the tension of trusting Christ with the results of discipleship.


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Daily Question

Which pillar of discipleship do you most resonate with, and why? What are you most looking forward to as we dive into this study on discipleship?

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Comments (7)

Faithfulness through the middle resonates with me because I have a tendency to stop something I’ve started if it doesn’t feel like it’s going anywhere. I forget how much patience God has with me and I look forward to studying how I can show that same patience and faithfulness to people around me.

I am trying to start something by embarking on this study. Like a child who wants to please her mom I am doing something new and brave because I want to please Jesus. I know he loves me…but I want to show my love and trust.

Faithfulness through the middle. Enduring. Takes time. Steadfast belief. Patience to see people grow in their own journey at a pace that works for them. I look forward to finding creative ideas and ways to share with new people. To start conversations. To help guide others into the arms of hope and salvation. To finding and understanding a belief in eternal life beyond our earthly journey.

It’s hard to choose one, but I suppose it’s the middle. I’m looking forward to learning more about how to stay connected and keep learning with a curious and hopeful heart when the secular world is so loud.

I love each pillar because they seem to me like the full body of a man (Christ in this case).
The pillars to me is like the head, the hands, the chest, and the legs.
Every part needs every part to be effective.

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