- Part Two
by Colonel Janet
is the second article of the three-part series on
What is discipleship? How did Jesus make disciples?
How can I become a disciple? How can I be a
Why should I prioritise discipleship? How can I be discipled
in The Salvation Army?
If you are asking these questions, you are not the only one.
In fact, I think you would find many, who are asking the exact
same questions. This three-part series of articles contains
some insights into discipleship.
without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ.”
— Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Essential Components Evident in Jesus’ Life and Leadership
Relationship! Relationship! Relationship! Relationship!
Mentoring and Role Models
People grow through relationships. Therefore, leadership must
be relational for maximum influence.
As Jesus went
on from there, he saw a man named
sitting at the tax collector’s booth.
“Follow me,” he told him, and
Matthew got up
and followed him.
was having dinner at
Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came
and ate with him and his disciples.
Jesus chose to be available, accessible and vulnerable to a
wide variety of individuals; in one-on-one conversations and
interactions. In fact, He was the ultimate mentor.
He taught thousands on hillsides but was superb in one-on-one
invested in the individual – regardless of age, status, gender
– from the rich young ruler to the Samaritan woman to
Nicodemus the Pharisee to the haemorrhaging woman to the thief
on the cross.
Jesus also deeply invested in the three among the twelve
disciples – Peter, James and John – with whom there are more
recorded mentoring dialogues in the gospels than any other
Consider the impact of these three on following through on the
Small Group Participation
People grow through participation in a small group community
of like-minded people, who share a common passion. In a small
group there is vulnerability and acceptance and a chance to
give and receive prayer
Jesus and his twelve disciples can be seen as a small group:
Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside
and sat down. His disciples came to him,
2 and he began to teach them.
Jesus’ primary model for disciple-making was that of a small
group, the twelve. That was the context he used for investing
deeply in developing the first generation of Christian
disciples. Jesus certainly had alone time, sought out solitude
to pray and commune with God, but he developed disciples in
Jesus chose to be a member of a small group. In fact, He was
the ultimate small-group leader. He taught thousands on
hillsides and was superb in one-on-one situations, but when it
came time to pour His life into the people He knew would be
the most critical to the spread of the gospel, He chose to
invest a huge portion of His time and discipling efforts into
the lives of just twelve (young) people.
In other words, the incarnate Son of God began his strategy to
reach the world with the love of God by starting a ragtag
Personal Spiritual Ministry
– giving and receiving personal ministry (i.e. prayer
ministry, preaching/teaching, etc.)
People grow through giving and receiving personal ministry:
Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world
and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the
world, he loved them to the end. 3 Jesus knew that
the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had
come from God and was returning to God;
4 so he got up from the meal,
took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his
waist. 5 After that, he
poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’
feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
Jesus chose to not only give but also
receive personal ministry. In fact, He was the ultimate in
ministering through prayer and Scripture. He integrated
Scripture and prayer into his lifestyle and relationships.
He preached and taught the Word to large and small
groups, as well as to individuals.
He drove out demons and healed the sick.
In Jesus’ own time of need, as he approached the
crucifixion, he requested prayer for himself from his friends.
He received the ministry of the “sinful woman” as she
anointed him “for burial” and blessed her for it.
People grow by going out in mission together:
When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power
and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases,
2 and he sent them out to
proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
Jesus was a missional man.
In fact, He was the ultimate missionary. He taught
his disciples to be and to do the same.
When the popular thing to do was to respond to the
demands of the multitudes, Jesus remained clear on his life’s
mission and “steadfastly set his face” toward the cross – his
All Four Necessary
All four discipleship components mentioned in this article are
necessary for maximum effectiveness in growing disciples into
maturity in Christ – giving evidence of holy living and
perseverance long term.
Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are
his dear children.
Live a life filled with love, following the
example of Christ.
For Personal Reflection
Go through these questions and consider your own journey in a
life of discipleship.
Who was or is your mentor?
Someone who influenced you personally for the better,
as a significant formational influence in your life in Christ.
Mentoring – Who are you currently mentoring?
What young person are you influencing and investing in
What small group community impacted your life significantly?
What small group are you now part of that continues to nourish
Describe an experience when you received significant benefit
from a ministry time such as – a sermon, someone praying for
you in person, an encounter with the Lord, or a revelation –
that changed your spiritual journey.
How do you approach ministry to others?
How do you lead ministry times in prayer these days?
What mission experience changed you spiritually?
What are the mission opportunities currently available to you
that strengthen your life in Christ?
the third and last article we will explore how discipleship
is unfolded in The Salvation Army.]
Colonel Janet Munn
Secretary for Spiritual Life Development
Centre for Spiritual Life Development