Discipleship. . . it's spoken about regularly from pulpits everywhere but how many churches actually are discipling as Jesus did? I recall when I first began my pastorate at Calvary Chapel Perris Valley and presented the importance of discipleship in the church and especially to see it seriously developed at CCPV, one of the leaders at that time responded, "You disciple pastor when you teach on Sunday and Wednesday." I wasn't surprised because even pastors I have spoken to consider their teaching from the pulpit as the discipleship in their church. Bit it is a very very limited part of it.
Lets consider the approach of Jesus. First, who did he identify as disciples but those who followed him on a daily and continuously basis. They were identified separately from the multitudes that came, listened and then went home. Look at this words regarding what a disciple is.
"Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them, “ If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple." Luke 14:25-27
"So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple." Luke 14:31
"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:33
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples." John 15:5-8
Wow! So being a disciple is a major commitment to follow Christ. The Gospel clearly records that Christ's discipling of the twelve involved their fosaking all to walk with Him to receive personal and regular instruction from Him through word and His example. His sermon on the Mount was not discipleship but was preaching, but his time in the upper room was as he spoke to them of washing one another's feet.
So lets get serious about discipleship. Let's follow our Lord's example to "disciple all nations."