A disciple is a person who is growing in their belief of Jesus and love for others.
The word disciple is the greek word mathetes, literally translated "to follow". Therefore, it is much more than simply a student or pupil. A disciple is someone who adheres to and conforms to the teachings of another, making it their way of life. This is why to follow Jesus is sometimes referred to as The Way (John 14:6, Acts 22:4, Acts 19:23, Acts 24:14). In giving the command to “make disciples” in Matthew 28, Jesus gives two qualifications:
- Baptism (Matthew 28:19) - which is the ceremonial initiation into "The Way" as a symbol of entering into the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
- Teaching (Matthew 28:20) - for the sake of obedience to all that Christ commanded.
What did Christ command? The Scriptures summarize the teaching of Christ in two inseparably-linked ways: belief and love. A person who truly trusts (believes) the gospel will love, and that person loves because he or she has first entered into relationship with God through faith (belief).
At Anthem, belief and love are what drive our primary vehicle for discipleship: Missional Communities.