Followership = Discipleship

Followership in the Christian sense is another word for discipleship. Do we need another word? If it helps us take another look at just what discipleship is, then I believe followership is a useful word.

Jesus told His disciples, “All authority is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” (Matthew 28:18-20)

The underlined words show where I have replaced the original text with words that more clearly show the meaning of the original Greek text. Jesus has been given all authority in heaven to send the Holy Spirit upon those who are truly born again. He has been given all authority in earth to send His followers to the people and places where He sees they are needed. The goal is to make disciples from among all peoples of the earth. God is still calling all people everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30), but those who repent need to be taught if they are to become disciples.

One of the most important things to learn is that a Christian life lived independently of other Christians leads to restlessness and disillusionment. A fulfilling life comes when we see ourselves as part of a close-knit family, loving and caring for one another. “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:35)

Sure, our toes will get stepped on from time to time, that happens in any family. Our response should be to be more careful about where we step.

“Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.” (Philippians 3:17). “That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and perseverance inherit the promises.” (Hebrews 6:12)

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