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The Different Pathways to Effective Discipleship
Stats: 4,968 words / Reading Time: 24.84 mins

Published: Thursday, 22nd April 2021

By: Obayomi Abiola Benjamin

The Different Pathways to Effective Discipleship is read 1.9K times on CentreNDL.org 1.9K
  

THE DIFFERENT PATHWAYS TO EFFECTIVE DISCIPLESHIP

How to fulfill the Mandate of Discipling Nations for God


Listen To Podcast: The Different PATHWAYS To Effective DISCIPLESHIP

 Jesus was very emphatic in Matthew 28:19 that we should make disciples of all nations. If this task would ever be accomplished, then it means we have to understand the different pathways to making it happen. Jesus’ vision from here is that the whole world be discipled, meaning the whole nations of the world become a dedicated follower of His. This vision is also the vision of the Father, that nations be submitted to His leadership and rulership. Psalm 22:28 says: “for the kingdom is the LORD’S, and He rules over the nations.”

 

Also, in Revelations 11:15b, it says: “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” Our work on earth as disciples will never be complete until this is accomplished, until God is ruling and reigning in the affairs of nations.

 

In Matthew 24:14, Jesus said: And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. When Jesus made this statement, He had the Gentile nations in mind because if He had said the gospel would be preached in Jerusalem and the Roman empire alone, then I believe His earlier apostles had completed that task already. But when Jesus made this statement, He had the entire world in mind meaning that the vision to preach Christ to the nations of the world is our responsibility.

 

Irrespective of your location as a disciple, your whole duty is to preach the gospel of the kingdom. Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 says: “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all (for this is the whole duty of man [KJV]) for God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.” Part of that commandment is what Jesus said to us in Matthew 28:18-20 and for us as disciples, that is our life’s assignment.

 

Pathways to Effective Discipleship

 

The Path of Christ

 

The first path to effective discipleship is the path of Christ. Discipleship would not be complete if Christ is completely eliminated from the equation. Any discipleship journey in the kingdom that does not point people to Christ is not good enough. Why Is the Path of Christ So Important in Discipleship? The path of Christ is so important because the end of effective discipleship is that men become like Christ. Galatians 4:19 says: My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you.” The goal of effective discipleship is to present every man perfect in Christ Jesus and not in apostle Paul or Peter or James or John. When we preach about the kingdom and the finished works of Christ Jesus, it is to the end that you can see and behold Christ in His full glory and honor and majesty and that Christ may dwell in your heart through faith.

 

In 1 Corinthians 2:1-5, the Bible says: And I, brethren, when I came to you, did not come with excellence of speech or of wisdom declaring to you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 3 I was with you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. 4 And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. Did we see that? Everything is about Christ Jesus and God and nothing else. Even when Jesus gave gifts to the body in Ephesians 4 (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers), their primary responsibility was that they should equip the saints until we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ…”

 

So, the path of Christ in effective discipleship takes us to that destination when we become just like Christ. As He is, so are we in this world (1 John 4:17). So, people can become like Christ in this world if Christ is properly modeled to them and we point them to Christ rather than point them to us.

 

The Path of Followership

 

Followership according to the dictionary means: the capacity or willingness to follow a leader. In the context of what we are talking about here, it is not just any kind of leader, but a godly leader. So, followership in the kingdom means willing submission or yieldedness to godly leadership. When you perceive leadership that is of God, you follow or yield yourself to that leadership.

 

 

Debunking the Myth: “I Follow Christ I Don’t Follow Men”

 

There are certain people who believe we don’t need to follow any man other than Jesus and the Holy Spirit. This is true, but it is not the complete truth. Paul wrote to us in Hebrews 13:7. It says: Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct. The gospel truth is this: THERE IS NOTHING WRONG IN FOLLOWING MEN WHO ARE FOLLOWING CHRIST. BUT IT IS DANGEROUS TO FOLLOW MEN WHO AREN’T FOLLOWING CHRIST. The best you would ever be if you are following men who aren’t following Christ is another version of such men and not Christ.

 

Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11:1: Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ. The King James Version of the same verse reads: “be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” In another place, Hebrews 6:11-12, the same Paul wrote: And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, 12 that you do not become sluggish, but imitate (followers of them [KJV]) those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”

 

You can never follow men who aren’t following Christ and arrive at the destination of Christ. If my destination is Australia for example, and your own desire is to end up in the United States of America, if you follow me, the best that will happen is that we will both arrive in Australia. Elisha wanted the double portion of Elijah’s prophetic power, and he followed him until he got it. If he had followed someone else for example, even though he wanted double portion of Elijah’s power, he would never have gotten it because these things happen in discipleship or in followership.

 

Examples of those that Followed

 

These examples were not originally part of Jesus’ twelve disciples. But they became prominent in their assignment for God as a result of dedicated followership.

 

Stephen

“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.”

Acts 2:42

“Every believer was faithfully devoted to following the teachings of the apostles. Their hearts were mutually linked to one another, sharing communion and coming together regularly for prayer.”

Acts 2:42 (TPT)

 

Timothy

“Then he came to Derbe and Lystra. And behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a certain Jewish woman who believed, but his father was Greek. 2 He was well spoken of by the brethren who were at Lystra and Iconium. 3 Paul wanted to have him go on with him. And he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in that region, for they all knew that his father was Greek.”

Acts 16:1-3

 

Timothy also got certain gifts as a result of following Paul. That means there are certain spiritual deposits that come to us as a result of following. 2 Timothy 1:16 says: Therefore, I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.”

 

Mark and Silas

“Then after some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us now go back and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they are doing.” 37 Now Barnabas was determined to take with them John called Mark. 38 But Paul insisted that they should not take with them the one who had departed from them in Pamphylia, and had not gone with them to the work. 39 Then the contention became so sharp that they parted from one another. And so, Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus; 40 but Paul chose Silas and departed, being commended by the brethren to the grace of God. 41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.”

Acts 15:36-41

 

Luke

Luke was never part of the twelve disciples as well. But he was able to write all that we read about today because he followed Paul on most of his missionary journeys. And on a number of occasions, he visited Paul even while he was imprisoned. His account in Acts 1:1-3 is a proof to this: The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, 2 until the day in which He was taken up, after He through the Holy Spirit had given commandments to the apostles whom He had chosen, 3 to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen by them during forty days and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. Luke had firsthand information about everything Jesus did and wrote about them simply because he followed Paul, and his writings today are a critical part of the New Testament.

 

So, becoming an effective disciple means you have to be a dedicated follower. You must recognize men and women that God is using and follow their faith (Hebrews 13:7).

 

The Path of Purpose

 

Our God is a God of purpose. In John 1:3, the Bible says: “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” There is nothing that God has made that is purposeless. There is the general purpose of God and there is the specific purpose of God. The general purpose of God talks about His grand agenda for man. The specific purpose of God on the other hand talks about our own purpose in the grand purpose of God. Our purpose in life is subsumed in the general purpose of God. In Ephesians 1:9-12, the Bible says:

 

“Having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself, 10 that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth—in Him. 11 In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will, 12 that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.”

 

The Path of Obedience

 

The first test of discipleship is the test of obedience. When Jesus beckoned to His first set of disciples, He said to them: “follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” The Bible says “and they immediately left their nets and followed Him.”

 

It takes obedience to be effectively discipled. A disobedient person would find it so hard to be effectively discipled. One of the ways though which you know you are indeed a disciple of Christ is if you obey His commands and do His will (Matthew 7:21). In John 14:15 and 21 (AMP), Jesus said: “If you [really] love Me, you will keep and obey My commandments. The person who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who [really] loves Me; and whoever [really] loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and reveal Myself to him [I will make Myself real to him].” Also, in John 15:10 and 14, Jesus said: If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.”

 

The Path of Consecration

 

“Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.”

John 17:17-19

 

Consecration talks about the act of setting something apart for a sacred purpose, whether a person, a place or a thing. For example, wives have certain utensils at home that they have dedicated to feeding their husbands alone and no one else. Certain places were deemed consecrated and therefore, when you get to such places, you don’t do anyhow or behave anyhow. In Exodus 3:5, after Moses decided to move closer to the burning bush to see what was going on, the voice of God came to him and said: “Do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.” The word ‘holy’ there is synonymous with the word ‘consecration’ which means that certain places or environment can be consecrated for a special use or purpose.

 

To be an effective disciple, you must be set apart.

 

Everything about our lives has been purposed in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:10 says: For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. A believer’s life has been consecrated unto God for good works.

 

The Path of Sacrifice

 

“But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. 8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.”

Philippians 3:7-11

 

One of the pathways to effective discipleship is the path of sacrifice. You must be willing and ready to let everything that you count as gain, go, for the sake of following Christ. Apostle Paul said he counted everything as loss. Those who would not be willing to sacrifice will find it hard to be effectively discipled.

 

Luke 9:57-62 Says:

 

Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, “Lord, I will follow You wherever You go.” 58 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” 59 Then He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” 60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.” 61 And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.” 62 But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

 

I believe you have been blessed! 


Thanks for the gift of your time, We are Obayomi Abiola Benjamin and Lara Gboyega Adedeji!

Feel free to share your thoughts or testimony in the comment box below. I promise to respond to them as soon as possible!


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Word of Confession: (Optional)

Lord Jesus, I confess to you that I have sinned against the LORD God - in the rebellion of my heart, I have disappointed your expectations on my life. I have fallen from Your grace and followed wrong influences around me. Today, I retrace my steps back to you - and I ask that in your mercy you accept me as your son and give to me (again) the promise of the Father - the Holy Spirit. Lord Jesus, please, come and make my heart your home, and from there rule in the affairs of all men. In Jesus Name I have prayed.

Tags:     

Pathways Christ Jesus Purpose Sacrifice Consecration Nations Obedience


A calling is for your INFORMATION, it is discipleship that produces your TRANSFORMATION.


Published: Gboyega Adedeji | Friday 27th September 2019


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A calling is for your INFORMATION, it is discipleship that
  A calling is for your INFORMATION, it is discipleship that
  A calling is for your INFORMATION, it is discipleship that
  A calling is for your INFORMATION, it is discipleship that
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Obayomi Abiola Benjamin


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I am Abiola Benjamin Obayomi, a disciple of Jesus Christ, with a drive to mentor young believers into spiritual maturity. I am a student of God's word and a teacher as well, with passion in the areas of relationship & spiritual development. I am a worshipper, an ardent lover and follower of the Lord Christ.


Lara Gboyega Adedeji


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I am a Woman of God's Purpose in Nigeria. I Coach Women in Leadership for true National Emancipation. I am a Spiritual Identity Mentor & ED, Flickers of Hope Foundation, Abuja-Nigeria!



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