Discipleship 6

Disciples Intentionally Build Relationships (Vol. 1 – 6)


Discipleship does not just happen. We need to be intentional about cultivating deep, honest relationships. While we can have discipleship relationships anywhere, the most natural place for them to develop is in the community of the local church. In the church Christians are commanded to meet together regularly, spur each other on in Christ-likeness, and protect each other against sin (Heb. 3:12-13; 10:24-25).

The discipleship relationships that spring out of this type of committed community should be both structured and spontaneous. When we study the life of Jesus, we see that He formally taught His disciples (Mt. 5-7; Mk. 10:1) while also allowing them to observe His obedience to God as they lived life together (Jn 4:27; Lk. 22:39-56).

In the same way, some of our discipleship relationships should be structured. Maybe two friends decide to read a chapter from the Gospel of John and then discuss it over coffee or a workout at the gym. Maybe two businessmen read a chapter each week from a Christian book and then talk about it on a Saturday walk through the neighborhood with their kids. Maybe two couples do a date night together once a month and talk about what the Bible says about marriage. Maybe a godly older lady has a younger single woman over to her home on Tuesday afternoon to pray and study a Christian biography. Maybe a mom spends time at the park with other moms each week. Regardless of the format, some of our discipleship should involve scheduled times of reading, praying, confessing, encouraging, and challenging each other to become more like Christ.

Discipleship can also be spontaneous. Maybe friends go to a movie together and then grab ice cream afterwards to compare the movie’s message to what the Bible says. Maybe a father and a son sit on the porch and reflect on God’s glory being displayed in a sunset. Maybe you invite visitors from church over for lunch and ask everyone how they came to know Jesus.

We always need to be intentional, but we don’t always need to be structured. In fact, Deuteronomy 6 shows us that discipleship happens “when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise” (v. 7). Every moment presents an opportunity to discuss who God is and what He’s doing. Since we are always following Jesus, we always have the opportunity to help others follow Him as well.