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 Who is a Disciple? 

Disciples Defined

A disciple is a person who listens to, learns from, and follows a teacher.    Disciples of Christ have been born again to a new life, and are undergoing a transformation to become more like Christ.

As Christians, our heart, soul, and mind are transformed to be more like Christ.  Our strength is used to serve the Lord and serve others.   Our lives are different from what we were before trusting Christ, and we are different from the world.

Read John 15:7-17     Jesus calls the disciples His friends.  They abide in Christ and His words abide in them.  They bear much fruit and glorify the Father.  They continue in His love.  Their joy is full.  They love one another.   They do what the Lord commands.  They go and bring forth fruit that remains.

Mark 12:30  And thou shalt love the Lord they God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength; this is the first commandment.

Disciples have a change of heart.  

The disciple's relationships towards others are different.   Their capability for ministry is increased; they use their gifts to show love by serving others.   They love others as Christ loved us.  They are committed to evangelism and developing more disciples.   Disciples deny themselves; they use their time, talents, and resources to help others.

Matthew 9:36-38   But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.  Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.

John 13:34-35  A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Luke 9:23-24   And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.   For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.

Disciples have a change of soul.  

The disciple's inner character and outward habits are different.  They exhibit spiritual growth, evidenced by the fruit of the Spirit.  They walk with God, and demonstrate loving relationships with others.  They are willing to deny themselves, take up their cross daily, and follow the Lord.  They consider Christ before self, family, or possessions.

Luke 14:27   And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

Philippians 2:3-4   Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.  Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

Disciples have a change of mind. 

The disciple's knowledge and wisdom are different.   They are committed to Christ's teachings.   Their Bible knowledge increases, resulting in a Biblical worldview.  They exhibit wisdom and discernment, leading to a firm theology based on the Scriptures.

John 8:31  Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

2nd Timothy 3:15-17  And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.   All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:  That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

Disciples have a change of strength.

The disiple's actions and activities are different.  Disciples stay busy serving the Lord and serving His bride, the church!   They actively seek ways to apply their abilties and knowledge and build the kingdom.  They obey the command to "go" and make other disciples.

Romans 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Ephesians 2:10   For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

 How Jesus Made Disciples 
Jesus loved His disciples

He encouraged the disciples.

He comforted the disciples.

Do you love the people you are discipling?   Are you willing to lay down your life for them?

Jesus spent time with His disciples

Jesus gave His disciples a clear and compelling vision:  Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.

He taught them, corrected them, and admonished them.

Do you spend time with the people you are discipling?   More than a few hours at church each week?   Do you help them understand the enormity of the mission?

Jesus prayed for His disciples

He taught them how to pray, He prayed for them, He prayed with them.

Do you pray for the people you are discipling?  

 How we can make disciples 

Find them

The Lord uses people like you and me to accomplish His will here on earth.  Pray for the Lord to send someone for you to disciple; keep your eyes open for natural relationships.  When you find them, pray for the Spirit to inspire them towards a lifetime of service.

Form them

Spend time together, study the Scriptures, pray with them, pray for them, tell them what is expected.  Determine their interests and spiritual gifts.

Show them

Give yourself away, demonstrate how the Lord can help you live and serve.  Model minisity with them, take them with you, let them participate.   Be a humble servant:  Matthew 18:4.    Be last (Mark 9:35), be least (Luke 9:48), and be low (Philippians 2:3).

Send them

Assign them to serve in a ministry,let them minister to others.  Monitor their progress, and pray for them to find someone to disciple.

 What Disciples Do 
Disciples Abide in the Word

John 8:31  Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed

Read, study, and memorize the Scriptures.

How To Study Your Bible   notes from a seminar

Bible Reading Plans    systematic ways to read through your Bible, from Ligonier

Bible Memory Page    lots of advice and memorization ideas.

Bible Gateway   an online resource for Bible study and research.

Disciples Engage with the Lord


Bowing down before the Lord to acknowledge His sovereignty, goodness, and love.


Scriptures about Prayer    practical principles for a life of prayer

Celebration and Rejoicing

Praising the Lord through music and testimony.

Disciples Bear Fruit

John 15:8  Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

Galations 5:22-23     But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.


Disciples go into all the world to proclaim the good news and to expand the kingdom.  They know that the Lord changed their lives, and they want this same blessing for everyone!

Fruit of the Spirit

Disciples overflow with the fruit of the Spirit in their relationships with others.

Disciples Deny Themselves

Luke 9:23-25  And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.

Here are some Biblical ways to deny yourself:

Solitude  Mark 1:35
getting away to a quiet place

Silence  Matthew 4:1-11
being silent to know the Lord

Fasting  Matthew 4:1-11
focusing your thoughts on the Lord

Frugality  Luke 9:58
using the resources the Lord provides to further the kingdom

Sacrifice  Romans 12:1
presenting your body to do the will of the Lord

Humility  Philippians 2:5-8
not concerned for rewards, recognition, or reputation

Disciples Love One Another

John 13:35   By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Here are some Biblical ways to share love with one another:


We spend time with other Christians, beyond church services.


We serve other believers.

We partner with other believers to serve the world.


We put the needs of other believers before our own.

Disciples are Generous

Matthew 6:20-21   But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.  

Tithes   giving your firstfruits to the Lord

Gifts    providing above and beyond the tithe

Discipleship Resources


Discipleship Journeys With Jesus


Discipleship Library


The Spirit of the Disciplines  by  Dallas Willard

The Complete Book of Discipleship  by  Bill Hull

The Disciple Making Pastor   by   Bill Hull

Strategic Disciple Making  by  Aubrey Malphurs

Discipleship  by  Greg Laurie

The Lost Art of Disciple Making  by  LeRoy Eims

To Follow Him  by Mark Bailey

Following the Master:  A Biblical Theology of Discipleship by Michael J Wilkins

1st Peter 1:5

And beside this, giving all diligence,

add to your faith virture;

and to virture, knowledge;

and to knowledge, temperance;

and to temperance, patience;

and to patience, godliness;

and to godliness, brotherly kindness;

and to brotherly kindness, charity.

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Gospel Verses

1st Corinthians 15:3-4  For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures:

John 3:16   For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Revelation 4:8b   Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.

Romans 3:23   For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

Romans 6:23   For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 5:8   But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Acts 16:31  And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.