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Dan Daugherty
Director of Discipleship

June 19, 1996 was the day that everything changed. It was on this day that Jesus saved me. I finally surrendered my life to Christ after being a very young atheist. I was fifteen years old and really had no clue what was next, but I knew that my newfound faith in Jesus was going to demand more of me than just accepting that Christ paid the penalty for my sin. As, I began to read the Bible more, I realized that I was right. As I would soon discover, there is so much more to the Christian life than salvation. Yes, it is salvation that we truly need; however, salvation is just the beginning of a new life.

As I read more of God’s Word, I grew even more hungry for depth, for change. I developed a deep love for God and what His word had to say. Something inside of me was changing and I desired more. My church hired a part-time youth minister that taught me and led me through the scriptures. My youth minister invested a lot of time into me and my development. I quickly discovered that what he was doing was exactly what Jesus did with His disciples. What my youth minister was doing was discipling me and it was glorious! I was growing by leaps and bounds in my faith. Anytime I had a question, my youth minister would take time and help me find the answer in the Bible. He spent time with me in the “real world” not just at church. He invested in my life. Through his example I got to see what it meant to follow Christ, not just believe. My youth minister eventually became one of my very best friends and is still to this day. We talk on a regular basis and encourage each other. All of this started because he decided to lead me through God’s Word and invest in my life. He took the call to make disciples seriously. In turn, it lit a fire in me to do the same.

I wanted to take some time to tell you my story because, sadly, it is not as common as it should be in Christianity. Over the next few weeks and months, I want to look at the basics of discipleship. I want to journey through why it is important that disciple-making be at the top of the priority list of every Christian. We were meant to go deeper than our confession of Christ. Salvation is the beginning, but the Christian life is so much more. During this journey we will look at what the Bible says about discipleship. I warn you, there is a lot!

What if we were to understand that making disciples is not simply making converts? What if being a disciple of Jesus was a decision that the new believer made after experiencing God’s saving grace? I am excited for this journey that we are going to take together. I pray that you will be challenged to see discipleship differently. I want to leave you with a couple of things. First, my favorite quote that has challenged me over the last twenty-five years. The quote comes from one of the most prolific disciples of the twentieth century and one of my favorite theologians, Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Bonhoeffer wrote in the book Discipleship, “Whenever Christ calls us, his call leads us to death.”[1] In order to be a Disciple of Jesus we must die to ourselves. It means that we must empty ourselves of our own desires and begin to live in the ways of Jesus. Lastly, my favorite Bible verse. This Bible verse has directed me as a disciple for many years now. It is, “whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked” (1 John 2:6, ESV).[2] Discipleship is about living like Jesus. It’s time to stop living this life for ourselves. It’s time we take seriously the call to discipleship and the call to make disciples. So, come with me on this journey as we discover what it means to be a disciple of Jesus.


[1] Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Discipleship, translated from German by Martin Kuske and Ilse Todt (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 2003), 87.

[2] English Standard Version: 2016, (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2016), 1 John 2:6.

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