One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers—Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew—throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me…
A man named Warren Wiersbe defined a disciple of Jesus as someone who is not simply a sitting and listening to a teacher. They are someone who lives with the teacher and who learns by listening, looking, and living. Discipleship involves more than enrolling in a school and attending lectures. It means total surrender to the teacher and living life with and like the teacher. That definition certainly gives some meat to what it means to being a follower (a disciple) of Jesus. If that is what it means to be a disciple then how do we make one? How do we become one? How do we grow as one?
We usually answer that by saying we need to read our Bible, we need to go to church, and we need to pray. These are great things. But, being and making a disciple cannot stop there because being a disciple is more than learning, it also includes living with. Discipleship is not a solo journey or event, it is team effort, journey with family and friends. Jesus made disciples by teaching them, but by teaching them in life and in relationship.
Paul told the church in Ephesus that God, “makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.” (Ephesians 4:16) He was making the point that growth (becoming like Jesus) doesn’t happen in a silo, it happens in the Body of Christ, it happens together. To grow and make disciples we need each other and we need each other living in obedience to Christ. The more we do that the healthier, the stronger, and the bigger the body will grow.
“We become a holy people together. We hear the voice of God most clearly in community. Love is superficial until it is lived out in the context of real relationships. The journey of grace is a team event!” (David Busic) When we say yes to Jesus we are saying yes to entering a growing family. We are in this together – struggling, growing, learning, and living together. Let’s be disciples and make disciples together.
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Pastor Matt Huff leads Portland Central Nazarene Church. He loves being in ministry and seeing lives transformed by the power of Christ.