Welcome to the Discipleship pages!
'Discipleship' seems to be on everyone's agenda at the moment. It's almost as though God is calling his church to rethink what it means to be followers of Jesus, as many Anglican dioceses, as well as churches of other denominations, respond to this call. The Church of England has made discipleship a key priority and was a key discussion at General Synod in 2015. Along with the paper Synod agreed the 10 marks of a diocese committed to developing disciples.
When Jesus used the term, he would have done so into a culture which knew the concept well. Jewish rabbis would have ‘disciples’ who would spend time with them, learn from them, and model their lives on them. Jesus was behaving exactly in the same way: his disciples were called to be with him, to learn from his teaching, and to be transformed as people in the process. But Jesus went further than any rabbi: those who were his disciples in the gospels became his apostles in Acts, as the called ones became the sent ones. And while the rabbis focussed on knowing the Law, Christian disciples are called to something far deeper: becoming more like Christ in character. St Paul wrote to the Galatian Christians ‘My dear children … I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you’. Discipleship isn’t about what we know, it’s about who we are.
Sometimes it helps to define something by looking at its opposite. So disciples are not those who nod in the direction of faith but don’t let it get too serious. It isn’t about doing your statutory hour a week in church and then living exactly how you like the rest of the time. It isn’t about seeing church as a leisure activity where we can meet friends like us. And neither is it about living uncritically in the consumerist culture of 21st Century Britain without letting the deeply counter-cultural values of Jesus challenge us. Discipleship is a full-time job, which is about knowing Christ, making him known to others, and growing to be more and more like him. It's about becoming faithful, confident and joyful Christians.
Discipleship is an exciting journey, and wherever we are on it, whether newcomers or seasoned believers, we believe that God is calling us to go deeper, to know Jesus more clearly, to love him more dearly, and to follow him more nearly. To help you with this we have put together these website pages to resource you on your journey.
To find out more about discipleship in the Diocese of Lincoln download the strategic overview
What is discipleship
Quotes on discipleship
How did Jesus do discipleship
Downloads and useful links
What is discipleship leaflet
Confident Discipleship 5 week course
Exploring discipleship days
Faithful, Confident and Joyful resources
Useful articles about discipleship (external sources)