For a while, the word discipleship was a buzzword in many religious and spiritual circles. The religious ones spun the term to mean the implementation of ritual and religious habits. Their emphasis was on discipline and training. The spiritual ones reinterpreted discipleship to mean following the esoteric Jesus of history. Recast as a hippie vagabond life, discipleship meant being free from theory and theology but obsessed, instead, with an esoteric and mystical quest for fulfillment.
In reality, discipleship simply means to follow Jesus. Though this may sound simplistic and derivative, it incorporates more than the Christian cliché of “following Him.” It does retain some discipline and training as well as spiritual fulfillment. But biblical discipleship transcends popular church programs and trendy curricula. Relevant to His disciples today more than ever, discipleship at the core is about Christ’s teachings, Christ’s way of living, and an organic relationship with Jesus.
This quarter will look at different foundations for discipleship. We will address the instruments of discipleship, the goal of discipleship, the power of discipleship, the process of discipleship, the venue for discipleship, and the attitude of discipleship. Because discipleship is about all of these—relationships, the devotional life, spiritual development, and the life of the church—only a comprehensive study could be effective.