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Principles of Discipleship

Principles of Discipleship
Photo credit : Unsplash 

A new Christian needs to be nurtured, groomed, mentored and trained to know how to obey Jesus Christ and to follow Him. At that early stage of his Christian life, he needs discipleship to be able to grow up and become a matured disciple of Christ. But discipleship is not just the passing of information from one person to another, it is the transfer of life. When we talk about discipleship, it is not asking someone to carry your bible for you when you want to preach on the altar. It is not asking others to clean or polish your shoes. Discipleship is not turning someone into your domestic servant. In no way does discipleship give you an entitlement to someone’s money. That someone is under your discipleship doesn’t give you any right to demand for his money any time you want. Discipleship is a process whereby a more mature Disciple of Christ establishes a relationship with a new Christian for the purpose of sharing with this new believer the principles, commitments, understanding and basic skills required to know, obey and follow Jesus Christ. In this post, I want to show you some biblical principles of discipleship that you will need to nurture and train other believers to become matured Disciples of Christ. Please read carefully to the end.

Be an Example of a Believer

“Let no man despise thy youth, but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity”1 Tim 4:12

One indispensable principle for discipling others is that you must become an example of a believer in your words, attitude, character, faith, purity, love and power. A new Christian needs an example to follow and a model to imitate. This new believer needs to see the life of Christ demonstrated in practical terms. The early disciples were not trained or groomed by the words of the mouth alone, they saw the Christian life lived out before their eyes. That was why Apostle Paul could say, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Cor 11:1).  The end of every argument is proof. People can argue with stories but not what they can see with their eyes. Becoming an example of a believer is very powerful because makes the truth of the gospel become real. Don’t sit down from morning to night talking, talking alone won’t do the work. You need to model and demonstrate the Spirit-led life before your disciples. You need to show them how to pray by praying with them. Don’t ask them to live holy, if you don’t take holiness very serious. Discipleship requires that you open up your life to the people you are discipling so that they can enter into your life and you likewise. It’s only when they others can see the life of Christ in you that you can have the audacity to encourage them to be like you.

Spiritual Maturity

“Not a novice let being lifted with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil” 1 Tim 3:6.

Spiritual Maturity is a crucial discipleship principle. Before you can disciple others, your own level of Spiritual maturity must be above average. You need to have at least a basic knowledge and understanding of the fundamental truth of the Bible. You also need to have a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Because you cannot give what you don’t have. You need to be a growing and vibrant Christian, such that others can desire to be like. Discipleship is as critical as a medical surgery. A discipler is like a surgeon, the life and destiny of the new believer is at his mercy. One wrong information or attitude you pass to the new believer can crumble his destiny except God intervenes. That’s why you need to first become a matured Christian before assuming the role to disciple others.


Principles of Discipleship
Photo credit : Unsplash 

“Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world” Matt 28:20

One of the biblical principles of discipleship is teaching. The new believer like a child may not know right from left, so you need to teach him. Don’t expect him to know until you have taught him what he should know. Teaching entails giving instructions, directions, guidelines, advice and correction. The curriculum for our teaching is the word of God and the model is love and patience. You have to teach the new believer the basic truth of the bible. If the new believer will have more insight into the life and works of Christ, it depends on your teaching. The difference between a trained disciple and a crude one who lacks biblical ethics is teaching.


Principles of Discipleship
Photo credit : Unsplash 

Discipling others requires commitment. When you understand the priority of discipleship, you would do it with nonchalant attitude. You need to spend time with the people you are discipling for Jesus. You need to put your own personal needs and issues behind you. Sometimes, discipling others will take away some lifestyles from you. You may find out that due to the time you spend with your disciples you may not have any chance to joke and play with friends like before. But there is no fulfilling task greater than giving your time, energy and resources to help another person know Jesus better and follow Him more closely.

Most of the work you will do in discipling others will involve sharing your life with them and theirs with yours. You need to spend quality time together with your students to be able to build a good relationship with them. You need to show genuine interest in their affairs and welfare, that will help them to be more open to you. Discipleship is more than sitting down to talk about spiritual things, you need to be involved in other areas of their life that needs attention and care. Some people can be very shy and won’t tell you what they are going through or feeling at the moment, so you need to ask them questions if they need any help. Be friendly and caring enough to notice even the slightest sign of depression on the face of the person under your discipleship and be willing to encourage him.

Spiritual Formation

“My little Children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you” Gal 4:19

The spiritual formation of a person is the very heart of discipleship. Therefore, you need to establish a close relationship with a new Christian who is under your discipleship so you be able to influence and encourage that person to become a committed disciple of Jesus Christ. Your objective should be to help them to grow in their commitment to the Lord Jesus, to the church where they are planted, to the word of God, to holy living and to soul winning. You also need to keep travailing in prayers for the new believer under your discipleship until Christ is formed in him.

Start with few People at a Time until they are matured
Be zealous to help many people grow in their Christian faith but start your discipleship with few people at a time until they are matured. The smaller they are the greater will be your influence. Think of a classroom with 500 students, what will become of the students who are very far from the teacher and can’t hear him clearly? That’s why in a normal learning classroom, only small number of students are admitted into one classroom. You must learn to work with few people at a time, if you want to produce quality disciples of Jesus Christ. Don’t gather crowd and miss the crown.  Take Jesus for instance, He chose only 12 Disciples, He spent three and half years with them and poured all His life into them. He didn’t disciple the crowd. Follow Jesus’s example, don’t disciple the crowd, have few people you can disciple per time until they are matured to disciple others. That’s the best way to produce quality disciples who will stand the test of time.

Every new Christian needs to be discipled. And you need someone to disciple them. Many new believers turn out to become half-baked Christians because no one is there to nurture, groom and disciple them at that early stage of their Christian life. Will you volunteer to help others to grow and follow Jesus more closely? The best time to begin is now. His grace is sufficient for you. Remain blessed forever.
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  1. I was so bless by this principles of discipleship.thanks a million an may God use you more

  2. Thanks @GAMNGONG, I'm glad you found value. Keep reading and please share with your family and friends.