Written by Dan Hill
Discipleship is so much more than a curriculum. It's a daily "yes" to Jesus' command: "Follow me".
I began discipleship having no idea what I was getting myself into. I knew it was the next logical step for my walk with the Lord, but I didn't know what it would entail. It has been encouraging at times, and discouraging at others. It has demanded difficult sacrifice, and yielded incredible rewards. Most of all it has drawn me closer to my Saviour, and is still teaching me what it really means to follow Him.
Relationship with God
When I began discipleship, I thought two things:
1. This is all pretty basic material
2. How soon before I am embarrassed by what I don't know?
I had looked ahead in the curriculum and noticed as I was skimming the pages that discipleship would require things from me that I was not well prepared to present. The funny thing is, looking back, it doesn't matter. I needed the realization that I was not where I should have been. I needed to be honest with myself, and someone else about my walk with the Lord. Committing to discipleship holds my feet to the fire. It helps me study, memorize, and pray beyond my normal book assignments. That is something I'm thankful for.
Relationship with Man
Before I began Journey, I had never been up front about my spiritual life with anyone but my wife. Not about the victories God had given me or the losses I had faced. For the first time I was able to consistently share how God was working in my life with a brother in Christ. God has allowed me to grow exponentially through this process.
Discipleship is NOT just having a "new friend" to talk to every week. It is so much deeper than that! It means having someone who personally desires to see you follow Christ. I can share my fears, doubts, victories, joys, experiences, hardships, and so much more, knowing that they will prayerfully advise me. Discipleship is not simply looking at things from the perspective of a curriculum, but being directed from the Bible as the Holy Spirit leads. Regardless of whether your discipler has stood where you stand, or not, they can direct you to what God says in His Word. They can pray with you, and show you what a close relationship with God looks like. That's why, in the end, discipleship hasn't been about a book or curriculum for me. It's not a homework assignment or a blank that can be filled in. It's a relationship that goes beyond the book. In fact, it is a loving father/son relationship in which the heart of the father is intentionally passed to the son to the point where he can repeat the process on his own. Discipleship is not just a "good plan" for the Church, it's God's plan for the Church.