Beyond the Broadcast: Strengthening Your Grip on Discipleship

  • Beyond the Broadcast: Strengthening Your Grip on Discipleship
Beyond the Broadcast: Strengthening Your Grip on Discipleship

“You can come to church, sit, leave, and NEVER be impacted by another life. That’s tragic, you know?” —Pastor Charles R. Swindoll

Time for a pop quiz. What is a disciple?

a. Someone who has completed a 10-week Bible study course
b. A Christian leader
c. A knowledgeable Christian
d. A zealous Christian
e. A Christian who listens to spiritual CDs

Answer? None of the above. Surprised? Don’t be! Never has a word been so overused yet so misunderstood. Although the topic of discipleship has been overworked, it is an under-applied concept. We all have probably heard a lot about discipleship. But if the truth were known, most of us still are not discipling others or being discipled ourselves. Most of us are still spectators when it comes to ministry. That is not only unwise and unhealthy, it is unbiblical.

Getting to the Root: Becoming a Learner

The Greek word for “disciple” is mathetes, which comes from the verb manthano, meaning “to learn.” A disciple is one who consistently lives by and can be identified with the teachings and points of view of his or her teacher.1 So, Jesus’ disciples, by way of extensive time spent with Him and His people, must embody His priorities and values. In other words, a disciple has developed the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:14–16) and has been transformed into a living sacrifice by His Word (Romans 12:1–2).

Though biblical knowledge plays a crucial part in our faith, we must remember that discipleship is relational. Disciples not only learn about their Master, they grow closer to Him. We must spend time with our Master, as well as with other believers who are more mature and who can teach what it means to follow Christ. And we should take time to teach younger Christians what we have learned from walking through trials, tests, and joys with our Saviour.

Do you feel that you know Jesus Christ better now than you did when you started your spiritual journey? Or has your walk come to a standstill? Do you prioritize time with Jesus over other important things in your life?

Strengthening Your Grip on Discipleship” is from Chuck Swindoll’s series Strengthening Your Grip. You can stream this message online anytime at

1 Frederick William Danker, ed., A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000), 609, 615.