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Raise the Bar of Discipleship


by Regi Campbell: For years, I’ve defined a disciple as a “learner and follower” of Jesus. In theory, if someone really follows Jesus, they will end up helping others to become learners and followers. But the reality is they rarely do. Somehow, we get selfish saying things like, “I have my salvation, my church, my small group, my Bible, my eternal security.” Moving beyond “me and mine” is hard.

Reading Discipleship.org’s definition of a disciple showed me how weak my definition was. He says a disciple is “a person who is following Christ, being changed by Christ, and is committed to the mission of Christ.” That’s raising the bar! Let me “put some meat on those bones” from my perspective:

Following Jesus – A disciple of Jesus is living his way of life. It’s a lifestyle marked by love, acceptance, forgiveness, grace, and joy. Following Jesus says my heart breaks for the things that break His heart. There’s a love for His Word, for worship, and for learning—a love for the church and for meeting together with other Jesus followers. Most of all, there’s a love for others. Following Jesus is an active thing. It requires engagement and involvement, not just participation and attendance.

Being changed by Jesus – A disciple is humble, the opposite of prideful and self-righteous. A disciple is open to the Holy Spirit, who lives within them and offers access to the mind of Christ. A disciple of Jesus has an open mind and heart, inviting God to “peel their onion” to expose their dark and blind spots and to heal their broken places. Disciples aren’t about self-improvement; they’re about finding parts of their hearts not yet surrendered and turning them over to their Heavenly Father for His use and glory.

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