What Exactly IS a Disciple of Jesus Christ?

Last time I talked to you a little bit about this whole idea of ministry amnesty. The idea that we had this window where there was a lot of stress and a lot of change, but we had some freedom to focus in on new techniques and tactics and tools and software and things. But now it’s really time to get back to business.

The business, if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, whether you’re a pastor or a Christian leader, but really any follower, is to be a disciple who makes disciples. So here’s the question: what does a follower of Jesus Christ look like in character?

I wrote a book some time ago called DNA of a Christ Follower: The 8 Essential Traits. In that book I unpacked what I believe are eight markers that once we understand what they are, they will help us refocus our Christian life and our leadership. I’d like to send you the first chapter of that book and if you like, an email mini course, no cost whatsoever. Just go to go.christfollowerdna.com and you can just sign up to get emailed the first chapter and mini course with an email tied to each one of those eight traits unpacking it a little bit further.

What I try to answer in both this little email series and the book itself is why do so many Christians not look like Jesus? That’s an important question. We’ve got to figure it out. Is there more to following him than just do’s and don’ts? A lot of people think that following Jesus is keeping a checklist. You know it’s more than that, but our people often don’t know that. How do we, if we’re pastors or Christian leaders, how should we measure success in the church? And what exactly are the essential traits of a follower of Jesus Christ?

One of the challenges I see as a pastor, as a Christian leader, is that we need to simplify and clarify and focus our spiritual lives and church lives. We need to raise up Christian leaders who actually are disciples who make disciples. We need to revisit why the church actually exists and we’ve got to be honest enough to ask the question, am I and are we identifiable as biblical followers of Jesus Christ?

I’ve been a pastor for more than 20 years. In fact, I started pastoring more than 30 years ago. I was out of the actual pastorate for a couple of years in the professional speaking and internet marketing worlds. But I’ve been in transitional ministry now for the last decade or so and my heart always has been, through it all, to see people grow in my church and see them grow healthy.

I’m just surprised how many times I come across Bible studies and small group studies that are just… they’re kind of sawdust filled. They’re kind of plug and play. They’re interesting, not always Bible-based and they actually don’t always contribute to the purpose of making disciples. But here’s the big issue: It’s hard to make a disciple when you’ve never identified what exactly a disciple is, what they look like, or who they are at their core. Until we’ve got that target clearly in mind, how do we even know what our people need to study and where they need to grow? That’s why I wrote the book DNA of a Christ Follower.

Again, I’d like to send you the first chapter and a list of my eight traits. I’m not concerned if people agree with the eight traits as I’ve identified them through a fairly intensive study of the New Testament. You don’t need to agree with my traits, though I think you’ll find them very comprehensive. But I do challenge you to get a clear picture of what a disciple is, what a disciple does, and then be that kind of person and model that kind of person and make the focus of your life reproducing what that is in the lives of others.

So check it out go.christfollowerdna.com and in the next few podcasts, I think I’ll probably unpack each of those traits a little bit further.

God bless you. Carry on being a disciple who makes disciples.

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