I attended Ohio University in the 1970’s to play varsity baseball. I did not have a personal relationship with Jesus when I went to college, and barely knew much about the One True God. I met several Christians on the baseball team, a few athletic trainers, and their friends, who began to engage me with the person and claims of Jesus. Through their prayer and efforts, I became a convert, then a growing Christian, a disciple, a disciple-maker, and finally a reproducer.
Read Matthew 28:18-20 and 2 Timothy 2:2.
I learned back then that Jesus’ emphasis was not just helping someone become a follower of His, but actually a disciple who makes disciples who makes disciples. If we understand what is called the Great Commission of Jesus in Matthew 28:18-20, He demands we disciple the nations. He also gives us the power to follow through in Acts 1:8.
Let’s consider the scope of this demand: first, the purpose Jesus calls us to is to make disciples of all nations; second, His program involves teaching these new followers (or teammates) to obey everything He has commanded; third, His provision entails receiving power when the Holy Spirit empowers each of us for godly and Kingdom service; and fourth, His promise reveals He will be with us always, to the very end of the age.
Please note that discipling is a task that requires much more than simple programs or techniques. Discipleship at all times requires the power and presence of Jesus Christ through the indwelling Holy Spirit. Jesus entrusted the Kingdom of God into the men and women He discipled. He didn’t write a holy book, left no manual, or tablets of commandments. He only trained and empowered men and women to continue His mission to save the world. Christ demonstrated that discipleship must be encased in a personal, relational model and not in a static, educational mode. This means the discipler must be personally involved in the lives of those he or she is discipling (i.e., “a more mature believer helping to nurture younger members of the community”).
The purpose of discipleship in a university setting involves: A) Providing students involved with a Chi Alpha chapter a pastoral discipler for Christian growth and nurture; B) Providing every student a few students in which to share the love of God with each other; C) Providing a relational learning experience in the practics of the Christian faith; D) Providing an atmosphere for leadership development among students for God’s work; and E) Providing for the continual development of a trans-generational ministry to the campus, as stated in 2 Timothy 2:2.
The making of disciples is not something that just happens. It is a very deliberate and specific process that requires strategy, time, and prayer. It basically is that process by which growing Christians impart their knowledge and experience in the Lord Jesus to newer Christians, in the context of personal relationships. By this process each member is thus given the basic knowledge and skills necessary to grow toward maturity in Christ and is equipped for the work of the ministry (Ephesians 4:11-16).
Serve globally. We desire to follow the instructions of Paul to Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:2. In this way we perpetuate a continuous development of maturing leaders for the work of Christ on campus, heading into the marketplace, and throughout the world. Will you join us in Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship’s mission to live out the words of Jesus and Paul?
Love is a verb,
©2018 by Mike Olejarz