Personal Discipleship

30 Mar

Personal discipleship is the act of coming alongside another believer and helping him or her to follow the Word.  As Paul instructs fathers to bring up their physical children “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord”, we should desire to be spiritual fathers who bring up spiritual children who will worship in spirit and truth[1], loving God and others with all their heart, soul, strength, and mind.[2]

This means having a personal relationship with another person.  It entails getting together to discuss God’s Word, its interaction with life, and to pray through the struggles of sin and temptation.  Personal discipleship requires the opening up of one’s life to another so that he or she can witness the way doctrine flows out in daily life, work, and ministry.  And finally, personal discipleship involves ministering together, allowing the mishaps and struggles that come to refine a disciple’s character and build up their competency in a given area.

The life of Paul does well to reflect this form of discipleship.  He came alongside young Timothy, passing on to him the sound doctrine of God’s Word; modeling for him what it looked like to live a godly life and to do the work of ministry; and allowing the youngster opportunities to serve and lead so that he might continue to grow into a strong man of God.[3]  This is personal discipleship.


[1] John 4:23-24

[2] Matthew 22:37, Mark 12:30, Luke 10:27

[3] Acts 16:3-4, 1 Corinthians 4:14-17, 16:10, Philippians 2:22, 1 Thessalonians 3:1-3, 1 Timothy 1:2, 2 Timothy 3:10-11

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