Christians talk a lot about the importance of discipleship. But what does this word actually mean?
Discipleship is a process that takes place both formally and informally to effect spiritual maturity as people follow Jesus.
Informal discipleship, as passages like Deuteronomy 6:4-9 suggest, happens everywhere, in every arena of life. Growing in our faith and deepening our walk with Christ is something that requires our whole life, not just the mind.
Formal discipleship refers to periods of instruction. We make disciples through our words and actions, providing verbal instruction from God’s Word and non-verbal examples through our lives (Acts 20:17-24).
Whether formally or informally, discipleship is a communal activity. We need other people to grow as disciples. We need each other when we experience temptation. We need to come alongside one another when we are dealing with grief and discouragement. We need each other to better understand the work of the gospel and express our gifts and callings as we live out our mission to make Christ known in the world.