“If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my father honor” (John 12:26).
The divine plan has always been the salvation of mankind. The triune God in Christ Jesus was to redeem mankind from the fallen state.
The coming of the son of God brought to limelight the fulfillment of the plan as set forth by God himself. The plan and the execution of the whole process of salvation
and redemption of mankind would not be completed without various human agents; this is important because no one person
would be capable of reaching every nook and cranny of the world with the redemptive plan and information within the time allowed.
The tremendous privilege that we all have in the Christian life and our churchmanship is to walk with Jesus as his disciples and to be
continually transformed into His image as we grow in our discipleship to Him.
Our lord Jesus is still at work calling men and woman to follow him today , our joyous task is to join him in fashioning our
ministries to serve him to that end as well as executing our churchmanship for the edification of mankind hence this massage
focuses on DISCIPLESHIP: AN IMPERATIVE FOR CHURCHMANSHIP.
Concerning the word, discipleship, for decades, a chorus of voices has been calling for a more precise definition of the
biblical concept of , discipleship while the church goes on grappling with fulfilling her great commission to” make disciples.
Christians have not lacked instruction on how to be disciple or how to make disciple of others.
Too often these instructions are based on assumption about what a disciple is while they take the meaning of discipleship for granted.
Yet our understanding of biblical discipleshipship shapes our practice of evangelism, churchmanship, church growth missions and personal lifestyle.
For the interest of this aspect of discipleship as an imperative for churchmanship I do go with this simplified meaning :A disciple has been shown to be someone who follow the
teachings, life and aim of another disciple one can deduce, Discipleship in the Christian sense as the process of making someone become like Christ.
The disciple of Christ become like Christ in everything including in his or her churchmanship.
In one way or another, we are all disciple already. We may not necessarily be disciple of Christ or for the Christian faith, but we are
disciples of something. Maybe you have a favorite writer, or a sports star that you grew up trying to emulate. Perhaps there’s a
person that you work with that you try to learn from. Maybe it’s something else. But whatever it is, each of us is already a disciple.
The manuscript of references to Christian disciples in the Gospel speaks of those who have submitted to Jesus Christ as Master of their lives.
They are committed to following Jesus as their Lord and teacher in the same sense in which others devotedly followed Moses, the Pharisees, or John the Baptist.
In this sense the term disciples is used most frequently in the Gospels to speak of the smaller group of twelve apostles chosen by Christ. In the Bible, Christ’s final command
to His followers is, “Therefore, as you go, disciple people in all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). The
Christian church has taken this command very seriously, but what does it mean to the uninitiated? What does it mean to be a disciple of Christ, much less to make more disciples?
The important distinction with Christian discipleship is that we are not only called to
learn the teachings of Jesus Christ, we are also called to live them. A disciple who bases his or her life on the teachings of
Christ is like a person building a house, who dug a deep hole to lay the foundation on rock (See Luke 6:48)
When we make our initial declaration of faith and ask Christ to be our Savior, He will begin changing us from the inside, giving us the ability to understand His word and the
desire to live it out for all to see. And while it is true that when we become Christian we are called to make disciples of others, we
have to remember that discipleship has to start somewhere. Nobody becomes disciples-maker overnight. God knows our
hearts; He understands that we are going to take baby steps to get from points A to point B. So don’t let all that “make disciples” talks
frighten you away from seeking Christ and becoming His disciple.
Remember that with the power of God on our side, we are capable of so much more
than we could ever imagine. “Those who know your name will trust you for you have not forsaken those who seek you, LORD” (Psalm 9:10).
The defining trait of any Christian disciple is faith. Faith in God will give us the power to become disciples, and to make more
disciples by leading others to faith as well as exhibiting the character of a true churchman. As Jesus began to teach the
significance of His work on the Cross, He also expounded other stringent conditions for those who would continue as disciples in the deeper sense.
In these conditions (Matt 16:24-27; Mark 8:34-38; Luke 9:23-26; and 14:26-33).
Jesus said a disciple must:
*Take up his cross
*Lose his life
*Not be ashamed of Christ
*Hate his family and his own life.
The nature of these commitments and the fact that they were directed primarily to those who were already His close followers
argue that they are conditions not of salvation, but of a deeper relationship to Jesus as Lord and Master.
They represent a progression in the revelation of God’s will which must be accepted if a believer would continue on the
path of discipleship. By these conditions, discipleship becomes something which is very costly to the Christian.
Discipleship and churchmanship
On the concept of churchmanship, churchmanship is a way of talking about
and labeling different tendencies, parties or school of thought within the church. It can also be seen as the state or quality of being
a churchman; attachment to the church.
Churchmanship is a virtue that may also be fading into history. We all lead busy and multi-faceted lives.
We have obligations at home and at work and we have relationship to nurture with family, extended family, neighbors, friends.
Somewhere in that mix is commitment to a local church and it’s wings.
For some people church ranks so highly that ministry always comes first even at the expense of everything and anyone else; for
some people church barely ranks at all and receives only the few moments that are left over when everything else has been taken care of.
Between these extremes is the virtue of good churchmanship. The good churchman is a Christian who truly and wholeheartedly
dedicates himself to his local church to the community of believers he fellowships with. This is the Christian who loves those people
who serves them and who cherish them. This is a fading virtue we would do well to recover and to call one another to be member.
Here are some of the ways a Christian can face particular challenges in our time and in our churches and excel at churchmanship.
A good churchman attends: commitment to a community of Christians involves much more than just being there, but it certainly does not involve less than this in order to be
dedicated to a church- not just the church as institution but the church as people- you need to be present so you can be with people and actively engage with them .The
good churchman knows that every time the church gathers, there are opportunities to pursue to minister to bless and he is eager
to take full advantage of every one of these times in order to fully serve in line of fulfilling the great call to discipleship.
A good churchman serves: The person who is dedicated to his church actively pursue opportunities to serve the people he loves.
He looks beyond the formal ministries of the church and continually looks for ways to serve other people even or perhaps
especially in ways that few will ever notice. His pursuit of people is always a pursuit of ways to serve.
A good churchman disciples: There are so many skills and virtues that are better caught than taught better modeled than explained.
The good churchman knows this and active in discipline other even though this requires him to give of his time. Discipleship requires
humility- not just the humility to know your weakness but humility to believe that the lord can use you in another person’s life
despite your sin and failings. It was not pride but humility that motivated paul to tell the curch at Corinth “I urge you then be imitators of me as I am of Christ.
A good churchman grows: The Christian who attends and serves and disciple will almost inevitably be a Christian who shows
steady growth in his understanding of the scripture and in his application of its truth. This Christian life calls for a relentless
pursuit of holiness which is the product of an ongoing pursuit of God himself, which is in turn the product of a relentless pursuit of truth as God has revealed it in bible.
The good churchmen takes advantage of every ordinary means of God’s grace he
reads and listen and studies and prays, and through it all is more and more conformed to the image of the savior.
A good churchman submits: there are few tasks more rewarding and at the same time more trying than leading a church. The good churchman loves the leaders in his church,
trust them and submits to their leadership. submission to authority is increasingly counter-cultural in our anti authority culture,
but it is clearly taught and carefully programmed in the pages of scripture. Rather than assuming that he knows best
and rather than making bold statements with only a partial understanding of the facts the churchman submits with joy and confidence.
THE IMPLICATION OF DISCIPLESHIP TO CHURCHMANSHIP
(AS AN IMPERATIVE)
Acknowledged that discipleship is present in the new testament epistles not only gives a more complete understanding of
discipleship but it also lends substantial aid in solving the difficulty of how discipleship fits into ecclesiology with this in mind several concluding implications may be suggested.
*Making disciples is a process that begins with believers taking the initiative in presenting the gospel to the unsaved in
order to bring them to salvation. This is followed by water baptism and by a continued process of teaching the word of
God. “A disciple is not one who has already learned, but one who is always learning. The ‘school-days’ of a Christian are never over.”
*The corporate teaching and fellowship of a local church are indispensable for developing spiritual maturity in individual believers.
In the local church spiritual gifts are to be exercised (Rom 12), and it is “the proper working of each part” (Eph 4:16, NASB) that builds up the body of Christ and thus each member.
*Since discipleship has Christ likeness as its ultimate aim (1 Cor 11:1; Eph 4:13, 15, 20; Col 1:28),
the human “discipler” must be careful not to spoil the product. Whether for good or bad, the disciple will become like his teacher (Luke 6:40).
Thus it is beneficial for more than one leader to be involved with even close-knit discipleship groups in order to attempt to balance each other’s weaknesses (which all leaders have).
Another way to guard against the problem of disciples taking on the weaknesses of their leaders is for the more mature believers in a
local church, including the biblically qualified leaders (1 Tim 3; Titus 1), to be involved as team leaders of discipleship groups. They
should all be “leading by example” anyway (1 Pet 5:3). Furthermore, they are to be imitated (Heb 13:7) in their life of faith by the other members of the church.
*In-depth discipleship training was used to equip the foundational leaders of the New Testament church (Eph 2:20). Thus it is
logical that churches today think of discipleship as a step toward developing qualified leadership and churchmanship.
*Certainly discipling should be a source for producing capable teachers (2 Tim 2:2). If the responsibility for helping believers to
mature in order to be able to teach (Heb 5:11-14) were taken more seriously, perhaps the problem of teacher shortages in a large number of churches today would be solved.
*Discipleship is the means to the end of planting and developing local churches (Acts 14:21-23), thus building Christ’s
universal church (Matt 16:18). Discipleship was not meant to be carried on in situation disjointed from the nurture of a local church and churchmanship.
COST OF FOLLWING CHRIST, john 12:26
IF ANY MAN SERVE ME
That death may not be exceedingly bitter and disagreeable to us, Christ invites us by these examples to submit to it cheerfully;
and certainly we shall be ashamed to refuse the honor of being his disciples. But on no other condition does he admit us into their number, except that we follow the path which he points out. He leads the way to us to suffer death.
The bitterness of death is therefore mitigated, and is in some measure rendered agreeable, when we have in common with
the Son of God the condition of submitting to it. So far is it from being proper that we should shrink from Christ on account of the
cross that we ought rather to desire death for his sake. To the same purpose the statement which immediately follows:
LET HIM FOLLOW ME.
“Me (associative instrumental case) let him keep on following”. And where I am, there shall also my servants be.
For he demands that his servants should not refuse to submit to death, to which they see him go before them as an example; for it is
not right that; the servant should have anything separate from his lord. The future tense, shall be, is put for “let him be”, according to the custom of the Hebrew language.
Others regard it as a consolation, as if Christ promised to those who should not be unwilling to die along with him, that they
would be partakers of his resurrection. But the former view is more probable; for he afterwards adds the consolation that the
Father will not leave without rewarding the servants of Christ who shall be his companions both in life and in death.
Following the analysis of the passage in this massage, it is quite evident that discipleship is an imperative for churchmanship. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where
I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honor: Jesus here claims the same absolute
subjection to Himself, as the law of men’s exaltation to honor, as he yielded to the father. Hereby giving a strong command
which all believers in the service of God and mankind through the church must readily adhere to in order to fulfill the great commission.
The implication and application of the text
The church is owned totally by Jesus Christ. He is the foundation he is equally the builder and finisher.
He has given us his beatitudes his constitution, conducts of living so far we want be partakers of the kingdom. The
singular mandate before us is to make discipleship a priority and characters around the ministry conform to the heavenly ones-
by their fruits we shall know them. The disciples of Jesus were first called Christians simply because they behaved like Christ
When we grew up as young Christians we were trilled by the acts of various arms of the church.
These arms were there to disciple us all. Neglect of the arms produced nominal Christians and a church without direction.
The call upon the church in our generation is to yield to salvation brought by Christ birth/death and convince others of the same
even as they join us. Our churchmanship must be marched with high point of discipleship. The church of today must be ready for aggressive true membership drive.
Also read this….