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Starting New Things – Making Disciples

Starting New Things – Making Disciples

Starting something new is a way to contribute to the making of disciples, of fulfilling the great commission, Mt 28:18-20. Disciples are apprentices and disciples of Jesus are apprentices of Jesus. They don’t just learn about Jesus, they do what Jesus did, that’s how apprenticeship works. Throughout the gospels, the disciples are watching Jesus and learning from him and learning by doing what he did. They often got it wrong but they had a go anyway. In Acts they carry on doing Jesus things and saying Jesus things and living Jesus lives.

Trying to define discipleship can get bogged down in defining practices. Practices and disciplines can help with discipleship but they can also become an end in themselves, and the cart ends up before the horse. Jesus taught his disciples to pray and to proclaim and to love each other but he recognised the dangers of elevating particular practices, Mt 23:23.

I would like to offer a framework for discipleship which encompasses three roles and three relationships. The three roles have been described in previous posts, Image Bearing, Justice Bringing and Multiplying. We find these three roles set out in Genesis 1 and then we can track them through the Old Testament, into the Life of Jesus and on beyond into the history of the church even to today. The three relationships are also found throughout the Bible, exemplified in the life of Jesus and continue into the history of the church. These three relationships are with God, with fellow Christians and with the world.

I have written about the three roles that disciples have in previous posts.

You can read more about the role of Image Bearing here

You can read more about the role of Justice Bringing here

You can read more about the role of Multiplying here

In the next few posts, I will look at the three relationships that disciples need to cultivate if they are to be like Jesus, having the same relationships in the same way. A relationship with God the Father, a relationship with other Christians, in the church, and a relationship to the world encompassing everyone and everything else.

For encouragement: Starting a New Thing is a good way to help the process of discipleship for everyone involved.

To think about: Do you have a working definition of discipleship already? How important to you and to the life of your church is active discipleship?

If you want to find out more about discipleship head over to

Or get in touch with Hannah Sandoval our Lights for Christ enabler

For more posts in this series click here

If you want to talk about Starting Something New, or church growth, or mission in general do get in touch