Okay, so, we are making sure we are clearly defining terms we use in our ministries. Using terms like “spiritual growth” without clearly defining them, in my opinion, can actually be damaging. At best it’s ambiguous and confusing for those we lead. If you missed my definition of “spiritual growth” click here.
In this post I will define “disciple.” This is important to define clearly because:
1. It is our identity as followers of Jesus – we are his disciples
2. If we are to “disciple” someone else we must understand clearly what that means
Here is the definition I use in our church for “disciple:”
someone who learns about and from Jesus so they can obey his teachings and teach others to do the same
We often talk about a “disciple” is a learner, but that’s just not good enough. The goal is NOT to learn information!!!!! The goal is to obey all Jesus has taught us (Matthew 28:18-20). So, our definition must include more than just learning. Secondly, the disciples that walked alongside Jesus were commanded to teach others, so our definition must include this aspect as well. The goal is NOT to keep what we learn and do to ourselves, but instead to spread it as much as we possibly can.
Lastly, if we are to disciple people, this definition narrows our focus. Our focus is on the teachings of Jesus, which the rest of the scriptures supports, and our goal is for those we teach to obey what they learn and then cause others to do the same. If obedience and teaching others to do the same does not follow our “discipleship,” we are not truly discipling anyone.
May you continue to be clear and concise with what you say as a leader.