I read recently that the word “disciple” occurs 269 times in the New Testament where “Christian” appears only three times and was first introduced to refer precisely to the original twelve. Perhaps we should spend a little more time with what it means to be a disciple. It has been suggested that Christ’s initial commission was to go out and make disciples, and after making disciples they were to be baptized and taught to treasure and keep “all things whatsoever I have commanded.” Instead the commission has now drifted to make converts to a particular faith or practice and bring them into church membership. Creating a problem because often conversion occurs for reasons wholly different than following the teachings of Christ.
To counter this move to Christianity without discipleship, we must be individually determined to undertake a general pattern of life, not one of self-righteous mimicry, that Christ himself undertook. Disciplines of prayer, simplicity, and service mark our overall pattern of our days.
If we do, we will begin to overcome “discipleless Christianity,” and Christ will guide us to what else we need to do.