Discipleship… the word means different things to different people. For some, it brings back memories of Sunday School initiatives and weekday night gatherings that their church would put on to foster community among the congregation. To many, it means meeting with our friends and neighbors new to the faith and passing on the knowledge we’ve gained over the many years of trusting Jesus. For others, it means taking the Gospel of Jesus Christ and spreading it to those who have never heard all over the world. We at Alpha Ministries take discipleship seriously and work hard to keep it at the forefront of everything that we do and to maintain it in the core of our mission. Stop and think… what role does discipleship play in your life? We’re thankful that you’ve made your way to our blog and hope that you leave encouraged, rejuvenated, and with a better understanding of what discipleship truly means.
At Alpha Ministries, we’re in the business of seeing God radically change hearts and lives all around the world while doing everything we can to support their earthly well-being. Many humanitarian and development organizations who work in similar areas to us believe solely in promoting and supporting the physicalneeds of individuals in vulnerable conditions. While we understand that many of these organizations are doing incredible work (and are often wonderful friends and allies to our ministry), there is so much more that we strive to do through our initiatives. At a fundamental level, we believe that long-term, sustainable change can only be achieved through saving faith in Jesus Christ. We know that this is where the importance of discipleship lies. Therefore, as always, we need to first look at what scripture tells us about making disciples.
In the book of Matthew, chapter five tells us that, “Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” This particular verse is one quickly to be used when friends and family raise support for short-term mission trips, when our pastors are emphasizing the church’s global vision for their congregation, and countless other common scenarios you may be able to recall.
At Alpha Ministries, we believe that this verse commands us to share Jesus and His love with the unbelieving world, walk along side of current believers by helping them grow in their faith, and then doing everything in our power to ease the suffering that people may be experiencing due to living in a fallen world as proof that we have been forgiven and redeemed.
As you may already know, we even have an entire program in place to send what we call our “Frontline Messengers” to unreached villages in South Asia and East Africa. Their responsibility is to evangelize to those who have never heard the Gospel while also training and equipping others to do the same.
While we as an organization have programs and different ministries in place to focus on discipleship, we know that this scriptural mandate is to all individual believers. Which brings us to the question you may be asking… “how do I, an individual, make disciples?” We’re glad you asked!
Start Where You Are!
Many Christians hear the term “discipleship” and immediately opt out of becoming involved due to the fear that they may have to pack up their lives, give up their careers, and move to a remote jungle region somewhere in the world that they’ve never heard of. We’re not saying that isn’t what God is asking you to do… but for most of us, God wants to use you right where He has you!
Start with your family. Our families at times can often be the most difficult people to discuss spiritual matters with and to truly get to the root of difficult life issues. Years of disappointment and past hurts may plague your current relationship with a parent, sibling, or child, but imagine the amazing opportunity at hand when you decide to be mindful and committed to making disciples within your own family.
As you continue to share biblical truth and witnessing to your family, consider the elderly widow next door who you suspect battles with loneliness. Introduce yourself and do what you can to help her. Who knows, maybe she’s never even heard the Gospel and you can be the first to tell her!
Volunteer through your church or city’s outreach program and serve men and women less fortunate than yourself. By first meeting a physical need, you will be amazed at the incredible opportunities that arise to share the Gospel or to hear where someone currently stands in their relationship with Jesus.
Commit to Send Others!
While access to the Gospel is commonplace in the West, many in remote or restricted parts of the world are not able to ever hear about Jesus or obtain religious texts of any kind to grow in their relationship with the Lord. Through our Frontline Messenger ministry, we are changing that! By sending our partners to minister to vulnerable people groups, we have seen many come to know the Lord in a personal way and are expectant that God will continue to grow this ministry. By giving the resources you are able, you can actively become a disciple maker to not only people in your own community, but in communities abroad as well.
For more information regarding unreached people groups and to learn about ministry opportunities you can be a sender for, we suggest visiting https://joshuaproject.net!
Commit to Go!
While most Christians are called to be active in discipleship within their own communities and to send disciple makers abroad, God could very well be calling you to go to the ends of the Earth for yourself! At Alpha Ministries, we have seen the Lord inspire and motivate hearts of many volunteers who are now working fulltime overseas. We know that God calls many of our friends, neighbors, and relatives to become disciple makers in foreign places and count it as an honor to help equip and send them. If you are considering becoming a full time disciple maker overseas or in another part of your own country, we suggest that you pray, seek wise counsel, and begin to research organizations and nonprofits you can begin volunteering with. God is faithful to use those who are willing to obey His call!
We Are All Called…
At the end of the day, whether we are sharing Jesus with our neighbor, friend, or beneficiary overseas, all Christ followers are called to be actively engaging in discipleship. As believers who have been redeemed and bought at a price, we have the obligation and privilege of sharing with others the invaluable treasure we have found in Jesus and count it as pure joy.
For more updates on our ministry and to continue learning how you can be involved, find us on Instagram (@frontline_messenger65) Twitter (@FrontlineMesse1) or Facebook (Alpha Ministries)!