Transformational discipleship stands in contrast to methods of discipleship that focus on gaining information about the Christian life. Believers should seek for opportunities to grow in Christ and to serve mankind.
Jesus categorized and emphasized the work of a disciple: “Jesus sent forth His disciples and commanded them saying, go not into the way of the gentiles and into any city of the Samaritans enter not. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as you go, preach, saying, the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” Matthew 10:5-7.
Transformational discipleship aims for deeper life change than simply knowledge or good deeds. It seeks to give meaning and substance to Biblical information while enlivening and empowering acts of service to God.
This approach helps believers develop a love relationship with God through Jesus Christ that calls for growth and service from a life of commitment.
The life of a disciple does not so much change the practice of discipleship as it changes the focus of discipleship. Instead of focusing scheduling courses and ministry actions, the focus is on producing transformed Christians. The church will always need Biblically based studies and opportunities for growth in ministry. However, a new focus on image bearing enables these efforts to produce disciples for the world.
“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world, Amen,” Matthew 28:18-20.
Transformational discipleship is a Jesus method. Jesus came to show us what God is like, to restore our relationship with God through His sacrificial death on the cross, and to model for believers a life that is pleasing to God.
The life of Jesus was a depending relationship with God, a depending relationship with the body (the church), and a depending relationship with the world. One must ask themselves daily as we build an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ: ‘Are my thoughts, attitude, and actions becoming more like Jesus? Do I eagerly seek opportunities to worship and to praise God? Do I eagerly seek prayer and Bible study times? Do I handle difficult situations that inquire sacrifices that are pleasing to God? How do I deal with trials? To what degree do I love my brothers and sisters in Christ?
To what degree do I love those who are difficult to love? How do I respond to conflict with another believer? How quickly do I forgive? Am I bothered by immature Christians? To what degree do I love the lost? How am I influencing those around me? Do I invest my resources in expanding God’s kingdom?’
In answering these questions truthfully, a strong spiritual growth will develop that will be an example for all ages to pattern.
“Let us not be weary in well doing for in due season we shall reap if we faint not,” Galatians 6:9.