“Go make disciples of all nations” was Jesus’ final command to His disciples in Matt. 28:19. We all believe this to be true, and we understand that all “born again” Christians are “disciples,” but do we have a clear picture of what a disciple is? Do we have a good understanding of the discipleship process? Do our churches employ a strategy of making disciples? In this online discussion about Discipleship, we pray there will be a helpful discussion of the various aspects of discipleship so that it will become the central work of the Churches of God, General Conference. Please share your thoughts and responses to others as we look ahead to what God will do through us.

3 thoughts on “Welcome



    Thanks for initiating this important conversation.

    It seems to me that the best place to begin a discussion of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus is with the teaching of Jesus about what it means to be His disciple.

    Jesus Himself chose to speak negatively about discipleship, that is, about who can’t be His disciple.

    He set a very high bar in terms of the minimum required of a disciple. For instance,

    “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters… Yes, even his own life… He cannot be my disciple.” (Lk. 14:26)

    ” … any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.” (Lk. 14:33)

    Certainly, it’s important to interpret how these teachings can be applied in the real world, but they must be included in a discussion of how Jesus followers today obey the command to go and make disciples.


  2. Bill, thank you for that very helpful reminder. Responding to Jesus’ costly call to follow Him involves a rejection of other paths — which I believe is based on the 1st Commandment: “Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.” I’m reminded of this truth by the passionate and exclusive commitment to follow Jesus that I see amongst our brothers and sisters in Asia, where the decision to be baptized can bring about enormous risk: the loss of family, social position, even one’s life. And yet they follow Him anyway. He’s worth it.

    1. Ben,

      I’m so glad that you have joined in this conversation.

      Years ago, I attended a Church of the Brethren college. My favorite professor was an old school Church of the Brethren minister who, all those years ago, had emeritus status.

      He went back a long way and often told stories about how his Church, as a counter-culture body and “peace church,” dealt with the challenges of World War 1.

      As an old man, my professor chafed at what he saw as the growing worldliness and lukewarmth of his group.

      And, he truly longed for a day, in the future, when to be a Christian in America would be to enter the fringe of society, just as it must be for our brothers and sisters in Asia.

      He looked forward to the day when missionaries from Africa and Asia would come to America to call us to live the gospel.

      My understanding of what it means to be a disciple, to this day, is formed by the thoughts and dreams of my teacher.

      Nearly 50 years later, as I observe what I see as the worldliness of the American church, I think of the things I learned as a young man and I share the vision my professor cast for me.

      Please, Ben, tell us stories of people you know of people with the passionate and exclusive commitment you describe. That is the “love the Lord with all your heart…” faith that Jesus commands as our base line, the starting point, in the life of a disciple.

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