What Is Discipleship and Are You Living It?

    Christians hear about discipleship a lot, but what exactly is a disciple and what’s discipleship?

    A disciple is a student. Simply put, discipleship is the act of making disciples by teaching others to follow in your footsteps.

    Today when we think of students, we think of learning and school, but in the New Testament a disciple was someone who approached a rabbi (teacher) and asked to be taught.

    The rabbi would choose whether or not to take on the student, but the arrangement was a serious one. The student would give up all other pursuits to study with his rabbi in order to become as much like the teacher as possible.

    Instead of most students coming and asking Jesus to take them as students, Jesus chose people to be His students without them asking. Peter, John, James and the rest of the disciples didn’t ask to be Jesus’s students; He chose them.

    For three years Jesus taught them everything about Himself, God and His kingdom. Then after His resurrection, Jesus left them with a few instructions. One of the most important instructions is in Matthew 28.


    Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. (Matthew 28:19-20a)


    We still live out this commission today. We’re called to make disciples for Jesus. Our job is to teach them to obey everything God has commanded.

    Being a disciple requires sacrifice. We sacrifice our desires in order to embrace God’s desires as our own. We give up our time to teach others about God and to help them live God-honoring lives.

    We also give up our own time to learn the Word of God.

    The catch to making disciples is that you can’t teach others to obey everything God has commanded if you don’t know what God has commanded. That’s why it’s so important to study God’s Word and to spend time in prayer.

    The more time we spend with God, the better we understand Him and His desires, the more we can help others develop that kind of deep relationship with God.


    Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 16:24-25)


    Girls, how are you fulfilling the Great Commission found in Matthew 28?


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    Jenn Arman
    Jenn Arman is a youth pastor, freelance writer and blogger. She was born in San Diego, California and raised 2 hours north east in the Inland Empire where she lives with her husband David and their cats. Jenn desires to bring glory to God and a healthy dose of reality to Christians through both writing and preaching. Visit for more on her work. You can also connect with her on and


    1. I have a mentor into discipleship and it has been an incredible experience! She has taught me how to love more compassionately and live like Christ would. I wouldn’t trade anything for that accountability and encouragement:)

    2. I’m currently reading a 30-day devotional called “You Don’t Have to be Perfect to Follow Jesus” (formally titled Devotion) by Mike Yaconelli. It is teaching how to be disciples and that the disciples weren’t perfect and were sinners, so being a disciple is something we can all do. Very good read and in a very understandable way. I am in college so sometimes it seems a little young, but you will never return from the Word void, so I always pray to learn lots. The concepts are straightforward and powerful; I find it easy to retain what I read. I recommend it.

      • The end of Matthew 28 reads: Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

        We are called to go make make more disciples, and to someone who may not even know what that looks like, that’s an intimidating command. (“Like, I don’t even KNOW WHAT I’M DOING, JESUS.”)

        We are called to behave like Christ, and that seems to be the most obvious source for what to do: just do as Jesus do. think about Jesus, think about what He did, what He does, read about Him, and do all these things constantly. Constantly meaning he preoccupies our headspace, kind of how like boys do when we crush on them…you know, that kind of head space. 😛

        When you become more and more preoccupied with Jesus, and Jesus related things are on the mind, then the rest…Jesus is alive, and has power over everything, and that power explodes with magnitude when it goes through a submissive heart, a heart that thinks on Him a lot, and tries to understand Him, and reads about Him and listens to Him and about him… you’ll find God’s grace powering you to be an impactful disciple, and His work will show through you, and His love will pour in you and pour right back out of you onto others, and other people will see it. Disciples make disciples. They just do. When something is a big part of your life, you talk about it. If you invite Jesus to be a big part of your life, basically obsess over Him, it will show, it will come out, it will impact the way you live, and others will see it, and a lot of those people will want it to.

        In short: Love Him, for He loves you, and you’ll find that God’s love is…the best thing that could have ever happened to you. It’s steady, it’s powerful, and it changes you. With God’s love in your life the great commission comes, it honestly just comes, because at that point you’ll find yourself loving others as Christ loves them, and have a desire to see them saved.

        (Personal Experience)

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