The Purpose of Discipleship Ministry

The purpose of our Discipleship Ministry at South Hills Baptist Church is just four words (and one hyphen): Becoming and Building Disciple-Makers. It’s so simple, and yet implicit in the phrase itself is the truth that discipleship is a life-time process.

I would venture to say that our church family is familiar with the method for growing as disciples (imitators) of Jesus: Bible study, prayer, worship, fellowship, and service. But what is the method for becoming a disciple-maker? And beyond this, what is the method for developing disciple-makers? To answer that question, I present a testimony. Not a Christian testimony, but a training testimony from an employee of the Apple Store...

“I registered for a two-day seminar hosted at a local hotel ball room. After two days, they placed me in a store and assigned me to a mentor. For the first few weeks I just wore regular clothes and the mentor wore the bright Apple shirt and lanyard. I just watched everything he did and took it all in. After dealing with a customer, he would ask me if I had questions or we would discuss that particular situation. After a while, I put on the shirt and lanyard and my mentor dressed in regular clothes and he followed me around as I took care of customers. If I had a problem, he was ready to jump in and help. When he thought I was ready, he set me free to work! Now I’m prepared to do the same things with another trainee.”

The secret of disciple-making is this: it’s not a secret! Their method of training isn’t even original with them. It’s the method that Jesus used! He mentored his disciples and then sent them to imitate not only his character but his method.

The question is this: what is your next step? In the simplicity of God’s mission it can only be one of two answers. It might be asking someone to train you to be a disciple-maker. Or, it might be inviting someone to come alongside you to grow with you and prepare to influence others for Christ. Perhaps it is both.

My prayer is that all of our discipleship programs at SHBC (Small Groups, Fellowships, Worship, and Bible Studies) guide us toward these next steps.

Aaron Kenagy