One to One Intentional Discipleship

Christ’s last word, as recorded in Mt. 28:19-20, before He left His disciples is so clear. It is to “make disciples.” The disciples understood what the meaning of His command. We do not read them asking or discussing what Jesus meant. For at least three years, Christ had them following Him. They heard Him, they saw what He did, they witnessed how he spent time with them and how He answered the questions from the crowd and the critics. 


Intentional Discipleship is Centered on the Word

Always, He pointed to Scriptures. When the Pharisees came to test Him about the issue of divorce, Christ pointed them to Scriptures (Mt. 19:3-6). When He Himself was tempted severely for forty days and nights, He quoted Scriptures (Mt. 4:4, 7; and 4:10).  In answering the man who came asking Him about the way to getting eternal life, again His answer was to refer to Scriptures (Mt. 10:17-19).  Even after His resurrection, He was opening and teaching Scriptures to His disciples (Lk. 24:45-48). 


Intentional Discipleship is Relationship Building

Mark noted that He called the first disciples to “follow Him” (Mk. 1:17). And in Mk. 3:14 wrote that “appointed twelve, that they might be with Him. As He built His relationship with the disciples, He had an inner circle comprising of James, John, Andrew and Peter; and both Peter and John were in His innermost circle.  

Paul saw the importance of this relationship building as the core of discipleship-making. In 1 Thess. 2:7, he mentioned how he cared for those around him like a mother, a father and a nursemaid 9 (see also 1 Thess. 2:11). 


Intentional Discipleship is based on Exemplary Conduct

He taught Timothy this truth in 1 Tim. 4:12, “Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.” Paul Himself was practicing what he told Timothy and others. To the Corinthians, Paul wrote: “Be imitators of me, just as I am of Christ.” (see also Phil. 3:17). Finally, in 1 Pet. 2;21, we have that supreme verse of leadership by example in the case of Jesus (see also John 13:15). 


My prayer and aim is that the Sunset Service congregation will work passionately on these three principles of Intentional Discipleship.