It's More Than Just "Doing Life Together"

What is Discipleship?


Too often we reduce discipleship to a weekly meeting or "doing life together." But what if it's better than that? Rick Howerton is a leading small group consultant and author of A Different Kind of Tribe, Destination Community, and Small Group Life Ministry Manual. He currently serves as Small Group and Discipleship Specialist at LifeWay Church Resources. Listen as Rick describes the earliest discipleship journeys and invites us to model them.



Rick says that while we don't necessarily find an explicit definition of discipleship in Scripture, we do see the model for discipleship in the way that Jesus lived. This lifestyle was empowered by the Holy Spirit and contagious to the people around Him. 

In what ways does Rick's teaching challenge your understanding of discipleship? What about how your church practices discipleship?
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Jesus was a rabbi, a teacher, who asked people to follow Him. What are some ways Jesus taught His disciples in Scripture? In what ways can you emulate that style of teaching today?
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Rick says that Jesus' disciples were so closely associated with Jesus that they were able to see His relationship to the Father. What are some ways you can live closer to Christ so that the people you disciple see God in you?
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Jesus made disciples by the power of the Holy Spirit, and then His disciples were empowered by the Holy Spirit to do the same things Jesus did and also make new disciples. Take some time to read about the power of the Holy Spirit Jesus promised His disciples in John 14:23–26 and 16:12–16. 

How did Jesus say the Holy Spirit would empower the disciples' ministry after He left them? What role do you think the Holy Spirit plays in your discipleship today?
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Rick says discipleship is "a relationship focused on the teachings of Jesus, the Word of God, and taking us on a journey to deeper levels of maturity so we can then take others on that path." What are some ways you have matured in your discipleship?
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Who are you currently discipling? Who might God be calling you to disciple?
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The journey of discipleship is life-giving because the Holy Spirit allows us to connect deeply with Christ and others. Read a bit more about how the Holy Spirit empowered the disciples to make more disciples in Acts 2:14-47. The same Holy Spirit lives in you and can empower your life and ministry too!