Q&A On Discipleship

3 Nov

I recently asked Mike Williamson (pastor and teacher at Fellowship Bible Church in St. Cloud, Minnesota) some questions on the nature of discipleship, the state of discipleship in the United States today, and ways for accomplishing the mission given to the church to make disciples of all nations.

1. What is a disciple?

A baptized believer who is being taught to obey all that Jesus taught in many venues, public and private, by other disciples of Jesus.

2. Do you think the church in America has strayed from a biblical understanding

of “disciple” and “discipleship”, and why?

Yes. Because of too narrow (exclusive one on one, only working through specific material, etc) or too broad an understanding of discipleship (anything and everything equals discipleship – without attachment to the Lord), or because of the lack of genuine disciples to make and teach disciples.

3. What role does the church play in the work of discipleship?

The church welcomes the new disciple into fellowship as a member, then cares for his/her nurture with intentionality in whole-life, public and private teaching with gracious accountability.

4. What role does the pastor(s) of a church, or the elders (leadership), play in discipling the church?

They must set an example for the believers in all things. All must be planned and done with the intentional goal of the body being taught to obey Jesus in all things. The overall ministry of the church must be considered so that the whole counsel of God is being taught and modeled systematically.

5. What kind of methods do you use in your own church with regard to discipleship?

Corporate worship, small groups, one on one and several on several meetings, training men to disciple their families and be accountable to another brother, seasonal meetings teaching marriage and parenting, age-graded classes teaching Scripture, neighborhood outreach, meals together, etc.

6. What helpful advice would you give to young pastors and leaders in other churches?

Be a disciple, be under another disciple, disciple in everything you do, believe that Jesus is with you in authority to do this, believe in power of the Word ministered by the Spirit to transform anyone, do it all out of gratitude to Jesus, be aware that you are engaged in the greatest activity on earth…


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