What is the end of discipleship? What is the purpose? When a teacher is discipling another Christian, what is the teacher trying to accomplish?
First, three things a teacher is not trying to accomplish:
1. The teacher is not trying to create a dependent disciple. The teacher is not trying to create a person that relies on him the rest of his life.
2. The teacher is not trying to develop a person who remains on an endless cycle. The intent is not to keep a person going through the same motions over and over.
3. The teacher is not trying to build a stagnant disciple. The disciple is meant to grow.
Now, three things a teacher is trying to accomplish:
1. The teacher is trying to create an independent disciple. The teacher is trying to create a person who can one day become the teacher.
2. The teacher is trying to develop a person who increasingly enters new cycles of growth. The intent is for the person to continuously need new instruction, new opportunities, and new tools for growth.
3. The teacher is trying to build a thriving disciple. Like a plant, each day the disciple should be moving forward to becoming a teacher.
What’s the point?
Christian discipleship is meant to build Christians into teachers. Don’t limit your thoughts to Sunday School teachers, small group teachers – though those are good also. Think beyond the institutional church. Think to individuals finding other individuals to mentor in the faith – to develop makers of disciples.
If we study the disciple-making pattern of Jesus, we find this exact template.
What is the end of discipleship? Teachers. We make teachers.