Discipleship

At Pathway our mission is followers of Jesus making disciples as we go. Jesus showed us that the most effective way to do this is through one-on-one discipleship. And Jesus has called each of us to be his disciples, and as we learn to live as his disciples, we in turn are called to go and make disciples.

So what is discipleship?

Discipleship is one person helping another person love, follow and obey Jesus Christ in every area of their life (see Matthew 28:19-20).  We believe this happens best in the context of personal relationships.  A more seasoned believer walks alongside a newer believer listening, encouraging, equipping, and directing them to know and follow Jesus wholeheartedly.

Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.”  John 17:3

Remain in me, as I also remain in you.  No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.  Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”  John 15:4

What will I do as a discipler?

Listen:  We must listen to each other’s stories and to God to discover where God has been and is now at work in the life of the disciple.  We cannot come up with a formula or method for becoming a true disciple of Christ.  We want to meet people where they are and cooperate with God in taking them to God wants them to be - abiding completely in Jesus.

See, I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”  Isaiah 43:19

I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them;  I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.  Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.  They will be my people, and I will be their God.”  Ezekiel 11:19-20

Encourage:  As women walk alongside women and men walk alongside men, we encourage them to discover the relentless love and grace of God through Jesus Christ.  Being found in Christ and living rooted in Him is the most important thing you can pass on to your disciplee.  All things flow from this.

….that I may gain Christ and be found in Him…”  Philippians 3:8-9

Instead, we were like young children among you.  Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, so we cared for you.  Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well.”  I Thessalonians 2:7-8

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”  I Thessalonians 5:11

Equip:  We work together to listen, recognize and follow the voice and action of God.  We can do this through the study of God’s word, praying together and for each other and introducing other spiritual disciplines that can be a means of helping our disciplee grow deeper in their faith.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  Matthew 11:28-30

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.  Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”  Hebrews 10:24-25

Direct:  Discipleship is not an aimless relationship.  The ultimate goal is to grow in our faith and knowledge of who Jesus is so that we can be mature and complete in Him.  The discipler will need to cast a vision for the disciplee by both modeling and teaching what it looks like to live by faith in Jesus and be mature and complete in Him.  While this is a life-long pursuit, the discipling relationship can focus on some or all of the objectives set forth on attached objectives sheet.

And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.”  2 Timothy 2:2

You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings…”  2 Timothy 3:10-11a (Paul’s life in Christ was a model to Timothy.)

Partner:  Discipleship is a purposeful relationship.  The discipler is intentional in coming alongside another newer believer to help give support in how to grow in knowing and walking with Christ.  Both the discipler and disciplee have the same ultimate goal to grow in their faith and knowledge of who Jesus is so that they can be mature and complete in Him.  The discipler may do this by asking questions to help the disciplee understand where God may be at work in their life, give guidance on areas of spiritual growth to focus on, praying together and other spiritual disciplines.  The discipler is also active in learning and growing him/herself to “remain in the true vine” and letting the Holy Spirit do the transformation.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”  John 15:5

“Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.  But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 3:13-14

Expectations of a Discipler:

  • Be a Pathway member
  • Make a year commitment to your disciplee
  • Meet at least twice a month with your disciplee
  • Participate in monthly meetings with other disciplers to check in with each other, equip one another, and pray

Expectations of a Disciplee:

  • Be faithful to meet with your discipler
  • Be respectful of your discipler
  • Be open and honest with your discipler
  • Be teachable and seeking to grow in your obedience to Jesus Christ

What are the characteristic of a discipled person?

The discipling relationship centers on a man helping a man or a woman helping a woman grow in his/her knowledge of and relationship with Jesus.  (Note: we do not ever think it is wise for a man or women to be in a discipling relationship with a person of the opposite sex).  Specifically, we aspire to see men and women at Pathway grow in the following six areas (which are followed by a non-exhaustive list of desired attributes):

1.  The Word of God (Biblical literacy)

Knows how to read the Bible and rely on it for guidance, inspiration, direction, and intimacy with God
Is actively growing in the knowledge of the Word through personal and corporate Bible study
Can articulate arguments for the reliability of scripture
Understands and can articulate Pathway’s Statement of Faith

2.  The Work of the Holy Spirit (Spiritual Maturity)

Understands spiritual gifting
Exhibits the fruit and gifts of the Holy Spirit and seeks to grow in them

3.  Body Life (Fellowship)

Active in attending and serving the congregation
Participating in a missional community

4.  Prayer (Communicating with God)

Has an active personal prayer life and ample time alone with God
Willing and able to pray with and for others

5.  Multiplication of Ministry (Using his/her gifts to serve others)

Seeks to edify and serve others
Understands and obeys the call to make disciples

6.  Witness of what Christ is doing in me

Knows how to give a personal testimony
Knows how to lead a seeker to and through the Gospel message
Actively seeks to give testimony and share the Gospel

If you are interested in either being discipled, or being a disciplee, please contact us.