the weblog of Alan Knox

Discipleship is dynamic

Posted by on Mar 8, 2010 in discipleship | 5 comments

Today, I had lunch with a good friend. We were talking about discipleship (in the midst of discipling one another).

Since discipleship is always between people, it is necessarily relational. Since people and relationships change, discipleship necessarily changes as well. Thus, discipleship is dynamic. As the people grow, discipleship changes. As life situations change, discipleship changes. As people enter/leave the relationship, discipleship changes.

But, if discipleship is dynamic, we can see how difficult it would be to program discipleship. The best way to teach discipleship, then, is not by teaching a program, but by modeling discipleship by example.


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  1. 3-8-2010

    Spot On!

  2. 3-8-2010

    I agree with you about the dynamic nature of discipleship. This dynamic character does indeed present problems for any discipleship program. Modeling discipleship by example sounds good, but of course the problem is, what do you mean by modeling? If in answering the question, you come up with a definition, activities, or a process, then you are well on your way to a program. It might be more informal than formal, but the difference might be more of degree than a difference in kind.

  3. 3-9-2010


    Thanks. And thanks for your work in this area too!


    Exactly. There will certainly be activities and processes, but those will necessarily change as well. We talked about that at lunch yesterday. If someone does exactly what I do, then that person is probably not discipling another person, because the other person is different. So, being dynamic, fluid, changing… is all part of the modeling process.


  4. 3-9-2010

    Just thinking out loud here, but I wonder what you mean by “exactly what I do.” Paul exhorts his readers several times to follow his example. Furthermore, isn’t the goal of being like the teacher the idea behind discipleship. Just because a person is different in personality and such does not mean that there are not basic disciplines that can/should be taught by the discipler. I hope that it is okay to press you a bit. I have done quite a bit of thinking in this area so I really am curious in how you are suggesting we disciple. I suspect that the devil is in the details.

  5. 3-10-2010


    When I say “exactly what I do”, I mean that I’m not trying to teach people to be me. I’m trying to help them walk with Christ. The Holy Spirit will use them in ways that are different than the ways he uses me. Thus, my goal is not for them to speak, serve, etc. like me, but to speak, serve, etc. in the ways that the Holy Spirit chooses to use them. I hope that makes more sense.