What is a Disciple?
“What is a disciple?”
Last night our bishop asked our district pastors to answer that question. People responded in a variety of ways — many are tempted to say “I’m not sure, but I know one when I see one.”
But if our goal is to make disciples, we really need to know what one looks like.
I like to answer this way: a disciple is someone who hears the voice of Jesus and does what He says. Working on that assumption, our churches and our personal ministries need to focus on helping people learn how to hear the voice of Jesus and obey what he says.
It is vital we teach people how to hear the voice of God through the scripture. At Crossroads we advocate for the SOAP method popularized by Wayne Cordeiro. (Scripture, Observation, Application Prayer) If we daily read the scripture and process it in those pattern, we can hear from God.
It is also important to teach people to listen for God’s voice through inner promptings. When God speaks into specific situations in our lives he ometimes chooses to do so directly in our spirit. Teaching people to listen to God is a crucial first step in making disciples.
Every one of Jesus’ original 12 heard him say “Come follow me”. Jesus says in John 10:4 “his sheep follow him because they know his voice”.
Listening is the first step, but clearly if a person regularly hears from Jesus and then says “No, I’m not doing it”, I wouldn’t call that person a disciple or follower. Teaching people to obey quickly, completely and cheerfully is part of making disciples.
When we teach people to hear from Jesus and do what he says, everything else will fall in to place in their lives.
How are you hearing and obeying? How are you teaching others to do the same?