Practical Discipleship: Why?

I’m not a great author, by any means, so as we tackle this discipleship guide together, let’s start by handling the 5 questions: who, what where, when, and why.  (The whole guide is supposed to be an answer to “how”)

I’m starting with “Why?” because it’s the least practical question.  There’s no extensive quantitative analysis of how well you’re doing with the purpose of your discipleship.  It seems like many (most, or even all) of the discipleship books out there discuss the purpose of disciple-making ad nauseum.  So, let’s keep this one short, shall we?

In my estimation, there is one primary purpose to making disciples – Jesus told us to.

The Great Commission:

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.” Matt. 28:19-20

He’s commanded His disciples to make disciples, so we should do it.  Though, there is a slight nuance here.  We *do* need to obey Jesus because He is our Lord, but the underlying reason as to why we obey should be love.

If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. – John 14:23-24

If we are making disciples simply because we feel it is our duty, then we are failing.  Coincidentally, it *is* our duty, but we should make disciples because we love Jesus.  We should *want* to please Him.

If we don’t want to obey Jesus out of love, we need to go back to the gospel and remember just what it is that He has done for us.

So, here’s the litmus test: are you discipling others because you love Jesus?

What do you think?  Are there other motivations we need to consider?

Add Comments below, and we’ll revise these posts as time goes on!

Posted in Thoughtful Thursday
  • steven yeats

    1) Discipleship is the mechanism by which the church was intended to physically grow in number and self-perpetuate. Without discipleship, the church effectively dies in a generation. It may continue to move about like a chicken with its head cut off, but it is dead, and just doesn’t know it yet.
    2) Discipleship ensures the faithful transmission of doctrine. Without discipleship, heresy will follow close behind.
    3) Discipleship is how people are directed towards holy living. Without it, the church becomes spiritually/morally corrupt from within.
    4) Discipleship is how people are taught to relate to and know God. Without it, our worship will be incorrect, incomplete, and superficial.
    5) Discipleship is the means by which we teach others to live their lives in response to the Gospel. Without it, we will stray from the Gospel of grace and revert to either law or license.

    • cburtt

      Nice!