Starting Monday we will be studying discipleship for the next five weeks. Throughout this study, our hope is to explore the meaning and importance of discipleship, to highlight the way Jesus did discipleship, and to model His ways.
Within the church, discipleship is a common topic of discussion—and for good reason. Jesus calls us to go and make disciples. Practically, what does it look like to do this? Throughout this study, our goal is to simplify the act of discipleship. By simplifying it, we do not mean taking away from the value of discipleship or turning it into a neat, pretty, and clean equation. Rather, we hope to shed light on how Jesus has shown us the way of discipleship.
Discipleship is about relationships. Simple, right? Relationships involve people, and we all have people in our lives. Relationships stem from family, the workplace, friend-ships, school, church, clubs, teams, organizations—everywhere. We come into contact with people each day, and with that comes the opportunity to create relationships. As we love and serve the people in these relationships, we exemplify the love of Christ. And that’s not love as in making them a “project” or trying to change them, but love in a genuine, authentic way. We love and serve others because all people are image bearers of God. This is discipleship.
The first week of the study is a big-picture perspective of discipleship. The following four weeks focus on four pillars of discipleship: Initiative, Start Something, Faith-fulness through the Middle, and Results—A Backward Mentality. Each week, we will define a new pillar of discipleship, look at how Jesus modeled discipleship, discuss the struggles we might encounter, and hear real stories of discipleship.
There are two different types of discipleship relationships: discipling someone and being discipled by someone else. Both are important, since it is good to be poured into and to pour out. For this study, we will mainly focus on what it looks like to disciple others or make disciples. If you don’t have anyone who is discipling you and you wish you did, find someone you respect and ask them to disciple you. It’s that simple!
Why are we calling it Woven?
Woven is the theme of our study because the word is symbolic of discipleship on two different levels. First, it reflects imagery Jesus uses to describe discipleship: “I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19). In Jesus’ time, fishermen used nets to catch fish—and nets are woven. Throughout this study, we will compare discipleship to a net. Second, in discipleship, our lives are woven together string by string as we do life together and walk alongside people. These two images give us a rich picture of discipleship. Through this study, we pray that you will be inspired by Jesus’ ways of discipleship. As you are inspired, we pray that you will model Jesus’ ways of discipleship in your own life. Jesus’ life is compelling, and His model of discipleship is our example.