Discipleship is at the core of our Christian faith. It simply means following Jesus’ example and teaching.
The word ‘disciple’ comes from the Greek word mathetes μαθητής which at its core means pupil or learner, with the heart of the word coming from math, meaning the "mental effort needed to think something through”. We are called to discipleship in Christ and need to think through what this means, not only intellectually, but for how we live according to Christ’s way.
The Scriptures can be seen to set us some tasks in this learning:
- to love God with our whole being (including our minds) and to love our neighbours as ourselves as we seek to live demonstrating the glory of God in whose image of love we are created. (Greatest Commandment - Matthew 22:36-40)
- to disciple others as we are moving in the world, connecting them to God so that they can learn the way of Christ, we seek to do also. (Great Commission - Matthew 28:16-20)
Discipleship is a lifelong process of learning, doing and being.
We are called to nurture our understanding of Scripture, to learn to think theologically (think carefully about God), to develop in our spirituality and to integrate all this in our living as we seek to live out our ministry and join with God in God’s work in the world.
This is not just a responsibility and task for us as communities which we collectively call the Church, but also as individuals as we each respond to God’s call.